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Family acquitted of murdering father

ARENDAL (TV 2 Nettavisen): In a shocking judgement in Nednes county court a mother and three of her children were acquitted of the murder of their husband and father due to self defense. The man was laying in a hospital bed when he was stabbed to death.

Nedenes county court stated Thursday that all of the four suspects had reason to fear for their lives. The 41-year-old father had abused the family for several years before he was killed at the hospital in Arendal on December 11, 2002.

“Murder appeared as the only solution, the four of them believed that they could not have done anything differently,” said Judge Anne-Kristine Hagli.

Considering filing an appeal

The prosecuting authority is surprised by the acquittal.

“The Director General of the Public Authority will decide within the next four weeks if the case will be appealed, but I want to say that I am very surprised by the decision,” said Public Prosecutor Kjell Boye to TV 2 Nettavisen. “The court has apparently viewed this differently.”

Only way out

“The court bases its decision on the fact that the murder was carried out in order to protect themselves from further actions from the deceased. It is not easy to say that it was necessary to kill, but what is a deciding factor is that it appeared as if it was the only way for the accused at the time of the murder,” read Knut Otterbeck, judicial assessor from the judgement at Nedenes county court Thursday.

Judge Hagli stated that the four suspects had participated in the murder, but the court found no reason not to believe the horrifying descriptions of the deceased terrorization of his family.

The oldest son, age 15, and the oldest daughter, age 19, stabbed their 41-year-old Kosovo Albanian father to death at the hospital December 11 last year.

The children are today ages 16, 18, and 20, and their mother is 38-years-old. The two underage children were not involved in the murder and might inherit the life insurance of NOK 500,000 (USD 71,000).

Erik Erland Holmen, public prosecutor and prosecuting advocate, claimed that the two eldest siblings planned and murdered their father, and they were charged with first-degree murder, The mother and younger sister were charged with contributing to first-degree murder.

However, Holmen claimed that the circumstances in the home did play a major rule, and claimed that they should have been judged according to a milder sentencing of the criminal code.

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