According to the ruling from the Ryfylke trial court from 2002, he was “unexcusedly brought into a case that has received considerable media coverage”, writes NRK.
He was awarded compensation of NOK 7,150 due to the fact that police secretary Grete Strømme in a report in 1996 singled out Vassbakk as a mode candidate in connection with the murder.
Johny Vassbakk was convicted in February this year for the murder of Birgitte Tengs almost 28 years ago, after the case was reopened in 2016.
Lawyer John Christian Elden assisted Vassbakk in connection with the Tengs case from the late 90s. He specifies that Vassbakk was never a suspect at the time.
– Investigative steps were taken to disprove the suspicion others had put forward, says Elden.
It was Elden who submitted the compensation claim on behalf of Vassbakk. Elden estimates today that the NOK 7,150 amounted to three hours of legal assistance between 1998 and 2002.
According to the Criminal Procedure Act, the state can claim back compensation if the case is later reopened and the accused is convicted.