By Peter Talos
The case is up for grabs
After five weeks in court, the last day of evidence was both amp and convivial. Next week, the prosecution and defense will do their part to convince the judges of their views on conviction or acquittal when the proceedings are held.
The most serious offense Laila Anita Bertheussen is charged with is threats against government officials and attempts to influence the government’s or the Storting’s activities under section 115 of the Criminal Code.
On Friday, the court was an arena where the 55-year-old’s defenders would weaken this part of the prosecution’s case.
Wara: So track
When all other witnesses had finished in court on Friday, Bertheussen’s cohabitant and, in the prosecution’s view, took the case’s biggest victim, the then Minister of Justice Tor Mikkel Wara, again the witness box. He said that, unlike the police, he had seen tracks in the garden the day after the car had been set on fire outside the house in Vækerøveien in Oslo. Now he regrets that he had not said this when he was interrogated after Bertheussen was charged with having ignited the car fire on March 14, 2019.
– The big question is probably why I was not asked about these tracks, Wara said when the prosecution asked questions about this new information.
The fire on the night of March 10 last year was the turning point in the investigation, which until then had been aimed exclusively at an external perpetrator. The coincidence of coincidences around the fire and the absence of other probable traces led to Bertheussen being charged.
– Do not save
In the same way, Wara replied that he had an SMS exchange with his former colleague in the Ministry of Justice, Minister of Social Security Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde after she and her husband parliamentary representative Christian Tybring-Gjedde on 29 January 2019 received a threatening letter in the mail that Bertheussen is now charged with for having sent.
– Did you perceive that they were afraid of the letter, Bertheussen’s defender Bernt Heiberg asked.
– No, I did not understand that, Wara replied.
Connected tracks together
The prosecution ended its presentation of evidence against Bertheussen with a visually convincing compilation of technical data they believe excludes other perpetrators. With a nine-hour and ten-minute video, with data collected from three cameras, the defendant’s mobile phone and the alarm and surveillance system in the house, the court was shown a chronological chain of indications pointing to the 55-year-old.
The film covered every second in the period from Saturday 9 March and night to 10 March when Bertheussen and Wara’s car started burning. The video showed that the only working of six cameras was disconnected for almost seven minutes just before the fire.
At the same time, the alarm system detected that the exit door was open for several minutes before it was closed again and the camera was switched on. The fire was then visible on the camera footage.
While the surveillance outside the house was active again and the fire developed, Bertheussen’s phone was connected to a charger and no further movement on it is registered until the police wake her up, apparently from deep sleep, one hour later without her registering either the fire or the riot. of police cars and firefighters outside the windows.
Was drunk alone
The accused has previously explained the evening that she was at home alone, was heavily intoxicated and had taken a sleeping pill.
She explained the open door by saying that the cat was usually let in and out. She has also said that there was constant trouble with the camera surveillance on the property and that she constantly connected the cameras in and out. (NTB)
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