Dag Wivestad from Norway was detained in Brest last September. Since then, he is in jail. The man is accused of committing sexual acts knowingly against a minor and faces from 8 to 15 years in prison.
The case has already been submitted to the court, the date of the trial is set. The relatives of the 71-year-old don’t believe Dag Wivestad is guilty and have own version of the story. Dag’s wife (whose name is not disclosed), who knows the story from the letters that her husband sent her from a pre-trial detention center in Brest talked to Radio Svaboda.
During her visits to jail, the couple is not allowed to talk about the case. The Investigative Committee refused to comment, citing the fact that it is no longer in the competence of the department. According to the woman, everything happened after 11 pm on Saturday, 28 September 2019 at the Belarus hotel, in the center of Brest. Two days later, the Norwegians were to leave for Minsk.
“Dag wrote to me that he was at the bar. In the lobby, he ran into a company of children. At the entrance, he greeted the girl in English. They exchanged a few English words. Dag was amazed that the child speaks English.
The conversation lasted only for two minutes. And he kissed her on the cheek. In Norway, this is an absolutely normal gesture, and no one would pay attention to it. But he forgot that he is not in Norway, and this led to such consequences.”
The girl in question is about 10 years old, the other two children are younger.
Dag and his friend were on their way to a hotel from a restaurant as there was a taxi station around there, when a group of men from the wedding approached them and started beating them. The man’s friend Ole was badly beaten (supposedly the girl mistakenly pointed at him). Soon after, the police came and took him to police custody, Dug was detained at the hotel a few hours later.
“Dag said that there were a lot of people and they beat him very cruelly – in the stomach, on the head. He covered his head with his hands, so he could not see everyone. They were of different ages,” the woman said.
Ole was released as he was in no condition to stay in police custody. The man refused to file a claim of beating so that he could leave for Norway as soon as possible, where he was operated. The man had an intracranial haemorrhage.
In response, Belarusian law enforcement officers said that it is impossible to determine the severity of the bodily harm inflicted on Ole N.N., since the applicant refused to conduct the examination. Also, during the investigation, they didn’t find confirmation that he was hit by an unknown person.
The document also says that in connection with the above facts, the administrative process against a citizen who allegedly pushed the Norwegians has been terminated, since there is no administrative offence. Dag’s wife is not aware whether the people who beat the Norwegians were detained.
She says the police didn’t identify the attackers and is perplexed by the absence of the video from the hotel’s camera in the case file.
Dag was detained and later charged with criminal act 167/3. The woman also does not know what details of the children’s testimony became the basis for the prosecution of her husband.
“I don’t understand. The entire episode lasted 2 minutes. This is a public place. People passed by, stood nearby. A group of Asian tourists arrived there, someone entered the place, this was at the entrance doors. There was a lot of people, but only the testimony of the girl, her mother and two younger children are used.”
She said that the husband confesses to kissing the child on the cheek.
“This is customary in Norway. If you visit Norway at least once, you can understand that. We have a completely different mentality here, no one understood this. Regarding the beating, I understand the parents’ reaction but they didn’t even try to look into the situation. Dag was convinced that he would be released the next day, and I was sure too.”
The wife also draws attention to the fact that the case reads that Dag was intoxicated during the incident. The man claims he drank Coca-Cola and, according to his wife, the examination showed no alcohol in his blood.
No criminal record
Dag was an auditor before he retired about two years ago. The man has higher education, studied in England and Canada. He has always had a deep interest in II World War and has spent his last years travelling.
“We have been married for 20 years. I know that he couldn’t do this. He is a good person, he loves kids and won’t offend them. We have no children. But he has four nieces. The oldest is 27 years old, the youngest is 2,5 years old. He raised the oldest, the youngest often comes to visit us. ”
The woman is now preparing for the trial, she took a police clearance certificate from the Norwegian police, which confirms that Dag Wivestad never had problems with the law.
“The investigation is being conducted with an accusatory bias from the beginning. Nobody takes his words into account. All facts are interpreted negatively, not neutrally. We are not used to it, since the presumption of innocence is important to us,” Dag’s wife concludes.