Police interrogators deliberately employed controversial FBI-inspired methods to get interviewees to confess, a new article reveals.
Former homicide detective Asbjørn Rachlew, a central person in the Anders Behring Breivik trial, tells Magasinet Plot in a 20-page interview the techniques were designed to put basic human rights aside.
“Police’s starting point was always that the accused was guilty, and it was our task to prove this,” he says.
Mr Rachlew has a doctorate in judicial errors in police investigation. He declares the regime, of which he himself was a part of, employed manipulation and other highly questionable techniques
These methods, used during the '90s, were completely essential in getting suspects to confess to serious crimes, he informs the publication.
The methods Mr Rachlew refers to are listed in the 1986 book ‘Criminal Interrogation and Confessions’, by F.E. Inbau, J.E. Reid and J.P. Buckley.
Nine steps are of what authors say are “effective interrogation” are employed “where the suspect's guilt is reasonably certain.”
“These steps include confrontation, theme development, handling denials, overcoming objections, obtaining and retaining the suspect's attention, handling the suspect's passive mood, presenting an alternative question, having the suspect describe the offense, and converting an oral into a written confession.”
Regarding Norwegian police, Magasinet Plot’s article (only available in Norwegian for the time being) shows that their internal notes recommend investigators draw out interviews for as long as possible.
This was designed to get ‘the problem’ – the accused’s defence counsel – to leave the room. Officers were then able to start manipulating the suspect because they were by themselves.
Another method was serve food to suspects, brought to the interview room hungry, so the questioner “could emphasise his/her concern for them.”
Norwegian police employed the FBI-inspired model for more than 10 years, according to Mr Rachlew. Many who have criticised these allegedly leading to miscarriages of justice in several countries.
Magasinet Plot’s article also reports that there is documentary evidence showing that more than 100 people in the US who have confessed during interview and subsequently convicted cannot have committed the crime.
This is because tangible evidence, usually in the form of DNA material, has later emerged which pointing to another culprit.
Neither Norway’s DPP (Riksadvokaten) nor the National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) wish to comment on the article’s revelations in detail.
Magasinet Plot is available for purchase from Narvesen outlets and via subscription.
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