Norwegian Police: VARG VIKERNES Won't Be Able To Hide For Very Long

October 26, 2003

Varg Vikernes defense lawyer John Christian Elden has spoken to Norway's NRK about his client's failure to return to prison as scheduled after a short leave.

Refusing to comment on whether or not he's been in contact with Vikernes during the 24-hour period the inmate has been on the run, Elden offered this explanation for Vikernes' actions: "I believe it stems from frustrations that have been built up [over the years]. [Varg] has been serving his sentence in an exemplary fashion, he's put the sins of his youth behind him, and he's held hopes of re-entering society in a relatively normal manner. Then a couple of weeks ago, he saw a newspaper article in the local press where the media once again focused on the fact that a 'dangerous' person was being held [in this community] and [it stirred up emotions inside him]."

The BURZUM mastermind, who is serving a 21-year sentence at a prison in Vestfold, Norway for the August 1993 murder of MAYHEM guitarist Oystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous),the burning of three churches, and the resulting death of a fireman, was supposed to return to the prison by midnight Saturday (October 25) after a 17-hour leave, but when he failed to show up as scheduled, the local police distributed his description to the appropriate law-enforcement and media channels, which automatically went out internationally through Interpol. Varg, who is also known as Count Grishnack, or Greven (Norwegian for "Count"),had reportedly told his mother and girlfriend that he was due back at the prison at 3:00 p.m. Sunday (October 26),but when there was still no sign of him at this time, the police issued an alert to all police authorities in the Schengen-area (countries that belong to the European Union and some others, such as Norway).

At this time, the police have no information indicating that Vikernes has left, or has attempted to leave, the country. "We have confirmation that he's been in Oslo, but we don't know where he is at the moment," inspector Torje Arneson told Aftenposten Sunday night. "Obviously, it's serious that he hasn't [reported back to the prison in Vestfold] at the scheduled time, but he's such a well-known figure in Norway that we don't believe he can stay in hiding for very long."

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