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Pakistan has handed over the suspect in the Oslo Pride shooting case to Norway through extradition

Norwegian authorities announced on Friday that Pakistan has extradited a suspected militant believed to have orchestrated a shooting in Oslo on the eve of the 2022 Pride festival.

The incident occurred on the night of June 25, 2022, mere hours before the Pride parade was scheduled to begin. A man opened fire outside two bars in central Oslo, resulting in the deaths of two men and injuries to nine others.

The alleged shooter, identified as Zaniar Matapour, a 44-year-old Norwegian of Iranian descent, is presently undergoing trial on charges of committing an “act of terror.”

Matapour has entered a plea of not guilty, and there is a disagreement among psychiatric experts regarding his mental state and thus his legal culpability.

Arfan Bhatti, a 46-year-old individual well-known in Norway, is suspected of having orchestrated the attack but had left the country for Pakistan before the incident occurred.

Despite the absence of an extradition agreement between Norway and Pakistan, Pakistani authorities agreed to fulfill Oslo’s extradition request.

“Arfan Bhatti is currently en route to Norway under the escort of Norwegian police,” stated Norway’s Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl during a press briefing on Friday.

Upon arrival in Oslo, Bhatti, who vehemently denies any involvement and had opposed extradition, will be detained by Norwegian authorities, as per the statement from Norwegian police.

He faces charges of being an “accomplice to an aggravated act of terror,” which carries a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

Police anticipate that Bhatti will be summoned to testify during Matapour’s trial.

Bhatti’s attorney expressed frustration that his client was extradited prior to Pakistan’s supreme court having the opportunity to rule on his case.

John Christian Elden, Bhatti’s lawyer, criticized this approach, citing concerns about adherence to legal standards and international legal principles.

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