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Norway: Man guilty of deadly Oslo LGBTQ shooting

July 4, 2024

Zaniar Matapour will serve 30 years in prison after being convicted and sentenced for an attack before a 2022 Pride celebration in Oslo. He killed two people and seriously injured nine more.

A couple stands in front of flowers and rainbow flags as people pay tribute to the victims of a shooting at the London Pub
Two people died, nine suffered gunshot wounds when Zaniar Matapour opened fire into a crowd outside a bar in Oslo in 2022Image: Martin Solhaug Standa/NTB/REUTERS

A Norwegian court has found a man guilty of carrying out a deadly gun attack at a gay bar in Oslo in 2022. The shooting took place during the city's annual Pride celebrations.

Zanier Matapour killed two people and seriously injured nine others after opening fire into a crowd outside the London Pub, a popular gay bar in the Norwegian capital.

The Oslo District Court said Matapour, fired 10 rounds with a machine gun and eight shots with a handgun into the crowd.

Conviction 'a great relief' — head of victim support

"This is a great relief," the head of the support group for survivors and victims' relatives, Espen Evjenth, told public broadcaster NRK.

Evjenth was herself struck by a bullet in the forehead at the London Pub.

"This verdict is an important step to establish a common understanding in our society about what happened."

Prosecutor Aud Kinsarvik Gravas called it "the right outcome" and "a historically severe punishment."

The court had been presented with extensive video material of the attack. Bystanders managed to overpower Matapour and he was then arrested.

Matapour had sworn allegiance to "Islamic State" — prosecutors

Matapour, who was born in Iran and immigrated to Norway as a child, had sworn allegiance to the so-called Islamic State (IS), prosecutors said. 

During the course of the trial, both the prosecution and the defense agreed Matapour had fired into the crowd and there was no disputing that the attack had been motivated by terrorism.

Matapour's lawyer, Marius Dietrichson, however, sought an acquittal, saying his client had been provoked to carry out the attack by a Danish intelligence agent posing as a high-ranking member of the IS terror group.

The shooting shocked Norway, which has a relatively low crime rate but has experienced so-called lone wolf attacks in recent decades, including one of Europe's worst mass shootings at the hands of a right-wing extremist in 2011.

kb/sms (Reuters, AFP)