Varg Vikernes' former lawyer, John Christian Elden, says evidence against his past client is ‘less than the Norwegian Police Security Service usually have when they arrest Islamists and release them shortly afterwards’, reports Aftenposten.
Convicted murderer and Neo-Nazi Kristian ‘Varg’ Vikernes, 40, was apprehended in France on Tuesday along with his wife.
Vikernes, also known as ‘Greven’ (‘The Count’) was charged with planning terrorist attacks and remanded in police custody for four days. His wife was released at 9 pm yesterday, AFP reports. This information has been confirmed by the police in several French media.
French anti-terror officers feared Vikernes' statements on the Internet could lead to terrorist acts.
Arrested following raid
Black metal musician Varg Vikernes, or Louis Cachet as he has recently changed his name to, was arrested at his home in southwestern France, Tuesday. The arrest was also triggered by the fact his wife, Marie Cachet, 24, purchased four weapons.
The police searched the couple's farm in Salon-la-Tour in Corrèze for firearms and explosives. Vikernes and his wife have three children aged 2, 4 and 6. All were present at the time of the raid.
His spouse is a member of a shooting club. Her gun licence allows her to own up to four weapons. Five firearms were found, according to several French media.
“Vikernes did not plan terror attacks,” his French lawyer, Julien Freyssinet told Aftenposten. “The weapons are purchased for the couple's leisure activities and life philosophy. Vikernes only wants to live peacefully with his family.”
From church arsonist to alleged terrorist
In 1994, Vikernes was sentenced to 21 years in prison for a murder and the burning of at least three Christian churches. One of these was Oslo’s Holmenkollen chapel, a well-known tourist attraction. It was built in 1903, burnt down in 1992, rebuilt in 1996.
Vikernes was also one of those who received a copy of convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik’s manifesto, sent to 1,003 people before the 22 July massacres.
The convicted arsonist was released on parole in 2009. He settled in France with his wife and children less than a year afterwards.
Moreover, Vikernes was sentenced to pay NOK 4.5 million in compensation to insurance company Gjensidige in 2007 for two of the churches he burnt down.
Gjensidige later chose to strike all of what he owed before expiry of the ten-year statute of limitations. The company gave no details given for the reason, Aftenposten reports.
Oslo municipality still upholds its claim against Vikernes' for NOK 13.5 million for the fire at Holmenkollen chapel.
Vikernes, who also served time for stabbing fellow black metal musician Øystein Aarseth to death, is still on parole for the arsony crimes. His 21-year sentence will be up in August 2014.
French authorities freed Vikernes, Friday.