Back from Kristiansand to testify today


Linguist Sylfest Lomheim was in the process of telling who may have been behind the much-discussed shipments and e-mails in the case when he was sent home two weeks ago. On Friday, he is back in court.

Sylfest Lomheim had to leave Oslo District Court on Wednesday 30 September after a maximum of ten minutes in the witness box. John Christian Elden wanted a written report on Lomheim’s findings. On Friday, Lomheim was back in court. Photo: Berit Roald, NTB

Professor emeritus and linguist Sylfest Lomheim has assessed the language in inquiries to the media and lawyer John Christian Elden that are relevant in the case against Laila Anita Bertheussen. In several of the shipments and e-mails, there are some others who take responsibility for what Bertheussen is accused of.

This is the second time Lomheim is in court in connection with this case. The first time was Wednesday, September 30th. After giving personal information, he was only just beginning to tell what he had found, when he was interrupted by Elden on 30 September.

Elden called for a written report from Lomheim, but no such report was ever made.

Elden believed that a written report was needed to assess Lomheim’s conclusions and to ask questions about them. Elden could not do this on the spot.

Thus, Elden requested that Lomheim’s diploma be postponed. The prosecutor had no objections to that.

Lomheim came to Oslo all the way from Kristiansand. The 75-year-old will now complete his explanation.

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Sylfest Lomheim came from Kristiansand to testify – was sent home by Elden after ten minutes.

“Fucka purken”

«It all starts when they hate FRPs who are all racists. It was fun playing with them and fucking the cop. But it went too far. Whole family ruined for this», The sender wrote in one of the e-mails to Dagbladet.

The language of this email and three other texts have been reviewed by Lomheim.

– It was an attempt to write quite hopeless Norwegian. The texts contained a number of words and expressions that someone with a Norwegian mother tongue would have written, the retired professor began in court on 30 September.

Lomheim characterized the language in the letters as “silly”.

– The person in question has Norwegian as a mother tongue, Lomheim added.

He could even say that the writer is a woman.

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Elden claimed that the prosecutor had wrongly hung Bertheussen out for violating the quarantine rules

The printer is Norwegian

Judge Yngvild Thue and prosecutor Frederik Ranke welcomed the 75-year-old back before prosecutor Ranke started asking questions to Lomheim.

– If people were aware of how much they revealed about themselves by writing, then many would not have written so much, Lomheim said from the witness box.

This made several in the court laugh.

Then he read from his written analysis. The analysis shows that the person who wrote the text grew up in Norway.

– You simply have to have Norwegian as your mother tongue to write such. Anyone who has not grown up with Norwegian does not write so idiomatically correctly. In the letter, schizophrenia is written correctly. I do not think many in this room would have managed that, said Lomheim who is one hundred percent sure that the printer speaks Norwegian well.

– The writer is Norwegian, but pretends not to be, he continued.

– I have seen worse poetry in the newspapers

Lomheim believes that all four texts were written by the same person.

“All the police have is a pile of sand that will blow away with any wind,” it said in one of the letters.

– I have seen worse poetry in the newspapers, he added.

Lomheim also referred to difficult words in the text that he believes a foreigner could not write.

He was not 100 percent sure of the question of whether it was a woman who had written the lyrics, but was convinced that it was a woman. Among other things, because the word “pee” was used in the text.

– A man would have used another word for “pee” in a threatening letter.

He also believes that it is not a young woman who has written the letter. Among other things on the basis of the word «snout».

– Younger people hardly know enough about the word “snout”. Younger people would not have used it.

Elden: Do men not use the word “pee”?

– Do men not use the word “pee”? Defender Elden wanted to know.

– Yes, men use it. Maybe in a kindergarten or in a family situation, but not in a threatening letter. Men might want to use the word “piss”.

Elden then referred to texts written by men where men have used “pee”. Among other things, the book “Places to pee” written by Svein Nyhus. Lomheim added that there was no talk of “peeing” used in threatening letters.

After a few minutes, prosecutor Frederik Ranke was able to reveal that “Places to pee” is a children’s book.

– Do you also have a political background. Can you tell us about it? asked Elden.

“I have been a member of the Labor Party and was state secretary under the Jagland government,” Lomheim replied.

Elden then referred to an interrogation where PST told Lomheim that he could not be an expert since he has commented on the case to Dagbladet. On September 24, Lomheim was asked to be an expert witness in the case.

– In the meantime, I had forgotten the whole interview. What I said to Dagbladet in the summer of 2019, I have not looked at in retrospect.

Elden then confronted Lomheim with the fact that he had said in a police interrogation that Bertheussen may have been behind the letter. Elden wondered what Lomheim based this on.

– I’m not blind. I have read about the case in the newspapers. It is not strange that her name appears in the interrogation.

Lomheim also said in the police interrogation that he believed that Bertheussen had played a game to put the blame on the immigrants. In the police interrogation, it also emerged that Lomheim had not thought of Bertheussen as a possible perpetrator before this interrogation.

– Are you sure that the person or persons who wrote the lyrics are trying to appear as a foreigner? asked Elden.

– Go out on the street and ask 50 people about this text. I do not think anyone will say that it is people with an immigrant background who have written it, Lomheim replied.

– These are imaginative mistakes. How many foreigners can write “gutters”, Lomheim added.

When asked by one of the judges if there were several words that indicate that a woman was behind it, Lomheim replied that it was not.

– But a man would have written rougher.

– Could it have been a feminine man? asked the judge.

– Yes, then we are talking “business”

Lomheim also rules out that it has become Google translate to design the texts.

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