Norway monitors slay case Cebu police chief tells Norwegian media outlet their case is strong

Posted on February 17, 2011

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by Dale G. IsraelReporter

Norwegian media is monitoring the status of their countryman Sven Erik Berger, who was arrested with his Cebuana girlfriend Karen  Esdrelon for the kidnap-slay  of 6-year-old  Ellah Joy Pique.

Aftenposten, Verdens Gang (VG), Dagbladet News and ABC Nyheter (Internet-based) were among the media outlets that carried Berger and Esdrelon’s story, which sparked the country’s interest following the couple’s arrest at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

The couple was supposed to spend their Valentine’s Day in  Hong Kong with Berger planning to propose marriage to Esdrelon. Last Monday, Verdens Gang’s reporter Roar Dalmo Moltubak and a crew arrived from Norway to cover Berger’s arrest.

Last Tuesday, Aftenposten sent their South Asia Correspondent Kristin Solberg to  Cebu to cover the case.

Solberg joined local media in the press conferences up to the filing of the case at the Palace of Justice  in Cebu City.

Aftenposten is a media house owned by Schibsted, Norway’s largest media consolidated group, and the newspaper has been published daily since 1860.

Aftenposten publishes a morning daily edition Aftenposten Mondays to Sundays, and one evening edition of the locally based newspaper Aften (Greater Oslo area) Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Around 92 percent of their circulation is subscription based.

A Norway-based freelance photographer and reporter Harry Wad  also arrived in Cebu last Monday.

Yesterday, the major media outlets in Norway carried Berger’s story, specifically the initial findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that entered the picture at the request of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

Aftenposten carried the story “Agents check the couple’s alibi”.

It quoted the couple’s lawyer and interviews with Senior Supt. Erson Digal, Cebu provincial police chief; owners of the Norwegian Language School, and the Waterfront Hotel.

The hotel’s security camera  had footage of Berger and Esdrelon loitering in the hotel premises at the time of Ellah Joy’s abduction.

Verdens Gang also interviewed Waterfront Hotel management and the Norwegian Language school, which verified the presence of the couple at the time of the supposed kidnapping.

They also questioned why the police continue to be bent on pursuing the case when the hotel and the Norwegian Language School confirmed the presence of the couple at the time of the abduction.

Reporter Roar also posted a video interview with Digal informing him of the findings of the  NBI.In the interview, Digal  downplayed the confirmation of the hotel and the school confirmations.

He  told the reporter that their case will be proven in court.(Excerpt)Roar: “Except from the witnesses, what other evidence do you have?

Digal: “We have witnesses. The witnesses positively identified the suspects and also we gathered more other evidences to support the case.”

Roar:The suspects have proven to be in the hotel… there was receipt and also confirmation that makes it logically and problematically that they can do the crime? Even if there are receipts?

Digal: “I have directed my men in the hotel and the school and they have the receipt that the girl enrolled at the school.”

Roar: “Is it likely that the Norwegian is innocent that they did it? Even if you have the receipts?

Digal: “…Based on the testimony of the witnesses and their positive identification…It is only a receipt that they were enrolled in the school, that they checked in. You can check in through e-mail…”

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