Man convicted of Oslo Pride gay bar shooting to serve maximum sentence

People with Pride flags stand near the London pub and lay flowers on June 25, 2022, in the aftermath of a shooting outside pubs and nightclubs in central Oslo killing two people and injuring many.

The man who murdered two people in deadly rampage at at Oslo Pride in Norway will serve at least 20 years in jail.

Appearing at a court in Oslo on Thursday (4 July), Iranian-born Norwegian citizen Zaniar Matapour was found guilty of murder and terrorism relating to a shooting in a gay bar in 2022. A man aged 54 and another aged 60 died. Dozens of others were injured, with nine suffering gunshot wounds.

The attack occurred at nightclub London Pub in Oslo and another nearby bar in the Norwegian capital during Pride celebrations. 

According to the charges, Matapour started shooting at about 1.13am, after swearing allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group in an audio recording sent to a friend. He fired two weapons at people at the venues. Terrified revellers hid in a basement and phoned loved ones as the shots rang out.

Matapour was arrested the same day and later charged with aggravated terrorism

Described by police as a radicalised Islamist with a history of mental illness, Matapour, 45, will serve 30 years in prison, with a minimum detention time of 20 years, which could be extended indefinitely if he is seen to still pose a threat to society, Reuters reported.

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This is the longest sentence possible under Norwegian law.

Tributes left for victims of mass shooting on 25 June 2022 in Oslo, Norway
Tributes left to the victims of the Oslo shootings. (Terje Pedersen/NTB/AFP via Getty Images)

He was also ordered to pay about 112 million Norwegian crowns ($10.6 million/£8.3 million) in compensation to survivors and relatives.

Christian Lundin, representing the victims of the attack, told Reuters the judgement was “well-reasoned”, adding: “On behalf of the plaintiffs, we are very satisfied that the court has awarded compensation in accordance with the claims made on behalf of the 312 individuals (affected).” 

Matapour’s lawyer, Marius Dietrichson, told Reuters: “I have to read the verdict in more detail and go through it with my client. My advice to him is that he should consider appealing the verdict.” 

It’s not yet known if he will appeal. 

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