Where is Cathrines (34) murderer?
KONGSVINGER (Åsted Norge/Crime Scene Norway): Azad Ghaleb Ali (44) is wanted all over the world for a murder he committed 12 years ago. Someone out there must know something about his whereabouts.
Cathrine Halvorsen was only 34 years old. She was strangled in her own apartment in Kongsvinger, Norway in December 2003.
DNA findings at the scene links the Iraqi asylum seeker Azad Ghaleb Ali (44) to the murder. He has been charged with murder and has been wanted worldwide via Interpol for the crime for 12 years, but police are still without answers to his whereabouts.
The accused have friends and family in Norway.
Azad Ghaleb Ali fled Norway the same night as Cathrine was murdered.
– He is Iraqi born, but he escaped and arrived as an asylum seeker in Norway. So how likely it is that he has gone back there, I do not know, former homicide investigator Asbjørn Hansen adds.
Hansen is now a part of the expert panel on the Norwegian true crime show «Åsted Norge» – a TV show created, with a direct viewer approach, to catch criminals still on the loose. In 2003 Hansen led the tactical part of the investigation on the Catherine case, when the norwegian National Criminal Investigation Service (Kripos) was asked to assist. Before police managed to apprehend Ali, he had fled the country. All leads end in Amsterdam. Police is informed he has family and friends in both England and the Netherlands – and in Norway.
– So he can be here. But how likely it is, I do not know, Hansen says.
Was a joyful and popular girl
In the basement of Kongsvinger Police Department is a guarded archive. The shelves are filled with criminal cases - both solved and unresolved. In one of the boxes is the belongings of the man police believe is behind the murder. Right next to it is a box of Cathrines possessions, secured from her apartment during the investigation.
Asbjørn Hansen examines one of her private photo albums. He is reminded on how her friends described her.
– She was very gentle and well-liked. A popular girl, he said.
Because of a disability Cathrine worked in a sheltered workshop. It was the employer here who raised the alarm when she did not show up to work.
A period of time Cathrine even worked in the cafeteria at the police station in Kongsvinger. Crime Technician, Rune Moen, remembers the cheerful girl from the cafeteria well, where he and the other policemen had their lunch.
– I think it was very tragic. Knowing people that way, then it hits you harder, he explains «Åsted Norge».
Police hope that new focus on this matter could lead to tips that can reinvigorate the hunt for the suspected killer.
– We always have a hope that he will be arrested, and that we can get him extradited to Norway, Moen says.
Do you know where Azad Ghaleb Ali is?
He came to Norway from Iraq in January 2003. He also went by the name "Ahmed" during the year he lived in Norway. He is 174 centimeters tall. He will turn 45 years old 16th of May this year. The last 12 years he has been wanted worldwide for the murder on Cathrine Halvorsen in Norway. Ever since, he has been hiding without traces.
Asbjørn Hansen believes someone must know something Azad Ghaleb Alis whereabouts.
– You won’t find yourself sitting in a room by yourself for 12 years. You must have had contact with the outside world. It could be that the outside world did not know that he is a wanted figure. But maybe they now will be informed as we are bringing up the murder in the program «Åsted Norge».
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