08.12.2006 - Fredrik Fasting Torgersen
The Torgersen Case will not be reopened.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission decided today against a reopening of the criminal case against Fredrik Fasting Torgersen, convicted in 1958 of the homicide of 16-year old Rigmor Johnsen at an address in Skippergata, Oslo.
The Commission has reviewed and evaluated all the documents in the case from 1957 to date. The volume of documentation has been considerable. As part of its preliminary preparation of the case, the Commission held four days of oral proceedings on certain parts of the forensic evidence in the case. In its decision, the Commission evaluated the overall evidentiary material independently of previous decisions regarding reopening.
The Commission has considered three main grounds for reopening:
- Whether there are new circumstances or evidence that would seem likely to lead to an acquittal, the Criminal Procedure Act Section 391 sub-s. 3.
- Whether special circumstances make it very doubtful whether the judgment is correct, the Criminal Procedure Act Section 392, second paragraph.
- Whether any officer within the police or public prosecuting authority, counsel for the prosecution or expert witness has committed a criminal offence or whether false evidence has been given, the Criminal Procedure Act Section 391 sub-s. 1.
The Commission has evaluated new evidence, including new expert opinions, appearing after the 1958 trial. The Commission has concluded that there are no new circumstances or new evidence which would seem likely to lead to an acquittal when the overall evidentiary material in the case is seen as a whole.
The Commission has further concluded, having assessed the evidence as a whole, that there are no special circumstances that make it very doubtful whether the judgment is correct. Likewise, there is no basis for stating that any officer within the police or public prosecuting authority, counsel for the prosecution or expert witness has committed a criminal offence or that deliberately false evidence was given by anyone during the trial in 1958.
The Decision by the Commission covers in excess of 500 pages and is available at the web site of the Commission, www.gjenopptakelse.no. It is also available to the media in hard copy from the Commission’s premises at Teatergata 5, Oslo. For information purposes, we enclose Ch. 1 of the Decision, “Brief Survey of the Commission’s Decision. In all other respects, reference is made to the Decision, which will not be commented on further by the Commission.
Janne Kristiansen, Head of Commission
Tel.: (+47) 22 99 13 70