For 25 years, the assassination attempt against Anne Orderud Paust (47) has been a mystery. Now the police have received new DNA matches on pieces of tape.
This is confirmed by State Attorney Sturla Henriksbø at the Oslo State Attorney’s Office to VG.
15 July 1998: The married couple Anne Orderud Paust and Per Paust left home in the morning. On her way to the car, Anne Orderud Paust saw that something was hanging under it, but she did not check what it was.
When Anne Orderud Paust later parked outside her job at the Ministry of Defence, she had not forgotten the object under the car – and eventually asked an employee at the ministry to examine it for her.
A short time later, the police were notified and the area around the car was cordoned off. Reason: The object smelled like dynamite.
VG has been in contact with Vegard Aaløkken, who represents Kristin Kirkemo, who will not comment on the new investigation.
The same evening, the police established that Anne Orderud Paust had driven from home to work with half a kilo of explosives under the car. Police crime scene technicians found no primer for the dynamite, so the couple’s lives were never in danger.
Nevertheless, the case was investigated as an assassination attempt against Anne Orderud Paust and Per Paust, but never clarified.
This autumn Krimpodden has a series about The Orderud case. Listen to all the episodes on Podme or VG+
Just over one month after the assassination attempt, someone tried to set fire to the staircase to the Paust couple’s apartment on Skillebekk in Oslo. The case was investigated as attempted arson, and the police saw the two assassination attempts as connected.
The following year, Anne Orderud Paust and her parents Kristian Magnus and Marie Orderud were shot and killed on the Orderud farm in Sørum in what was then Akershus.
Four people were eventually convicted of accessory to murder in the triple homicide case, since the police never found out who actually shot and killed the three victims.
See what crime commentator Øystein Milli says about the latest developments in the case:
Public prosecutor on the Orderud case: The triple murder could probably have been prevented
The year before Anne Paust was killed at Orderud farm, she and her husband were subjected to two assassination attempts.
Per and Veronica Orderud were sentenced in the Eidsivating Court of Appeal to 21 years in prison, while Kristin Kirkemo and Lars Grønnerød were sentenced to 16 and 18 years in prison respectively.
In 2018, Per and Veronica Orderud petitioned for their case to be reopened – and it is in this connection that Oslo University Hospital has carried out new DNA examinations of seizures in the case.
– The re-admission commission has carried out a comprehensive review of seizures in the case, and has had new DNA tests carried out on this material. The results are now in, and it turns out that Kristin Kirkemo’s DNA has been found on some pieces of tape that were used to attach a dynamite stick under Anne Orderud Paust’s car, says state attorney Sturla Henriksbø to VG.
The public prosecutor believes that the DNA discovery strengthens the prosecution’s theory that Kristin Kirkemo was involved in the assassination attempt on Anne Orderud Paust. Kirkemo was prosecuted for the circumstances and was first convicted for this in the district court – but acquitted in the court of appeal.
– What does that mean for the reinstatement petition that has been submitted?
– When the courts dealt with the Orderud case, they assumed that the farm conflict was behind the murders. From what we can see, there is no other reason that Kristin Kirkemo could have had for contributing to the sequence of events surrounding the assassination attempts in advance. Thus, these new findings also support this. This finding here is completely in line with the prosecution decision that was taken against the four in the Orderud case, replies the state attorney.
– What does that mean for the judgments in the case?
– This finding is completely in line with the prosecution decision that was taken against the four convicts – and it strengthens the basis for the convictions, replies Henriksbø.
Head of the Readmission Commission, Kamilla Silseth, does not wish to comment on VG’s information.
VG has tried to get in touch with Kristin Kirkemo without success.
It is lawyer Vegard Aaløkken who represents Kirkemo in connection with the reopening commission processing the petition for reopening.
– I have no comment on that investigation, says lawyer Vegard Aaløkken, who represents Kristin Kirkemo.
– Why not?
– No, Kirkemo is done with the matter. Wants to put this behind him and has taken his punishment, says Aaløkken.
– How do you see this when there has been a petition for reopening and there is this type of meeting?
– I haven’t thought about it in particular in relation to the reopening case. It is not my client who has asked for it to be reopened. Someone else has done it. As mentioned, Kirkemo has finished with the case.
– She has not allowed herself to be questioned by the commission in connection with this petition. Why not?
– It is somewhat the same as what I have already covered. That she is finished with the case and has taken the punishment, says Aaløkken.
Refuses new interrogations
Since 2018, the Readmission Commission has carried out various investigations and taken several interviews in the work on the petition from Per and Veronica Orderud.
In this connection, the commission wanted to question Kristin Kirkemo, but was refused.