A Norwegian engineer extradited for stealing a rental car hired in Dublin before driving it back to his home country two years ago has dropped his bail application and agreed to stay in custody to prepare a signed guilty plea.
Bjorn Tveter (40), from Langelandsfjellet, Jessheim, Norway, appeared again at Dublin District Court on Monday for the resumption of his part-heard bail application, which commenced on Thursday.
He is charged with stealing the Audi from a Dublin car rental firm and using false documentation to hire the vehicle on November 25th, 2020.
Last week, defence solicitor Tony Collier told the court he wanted to obtain documents from the Norwegian embassy to assist Mr Tveter.
However, on Monday the solicitor said his client now consented to be remanded in continuing custody to prepare a signed plea.
The case resumes on February 17th.
At the previous hearing, Detective Garda Dominic McGrath told the court the accused replied “not guilty” to the motor theft offence and “that’s true” when the documents charges were put to him.
Detective Garda McGrath had objected to bail, citing flight risk fears.
He said he corresponded with Mr Tveter by email on 14 occasions and suggested getting legal advice and returning to Ireland because the matter was under investigation.
The detective also spoke to him by phone and told him the same, but he did not return. He said that Mr Tveter understood perfect English.
Consequently, a European Arrest Warrant was issued, and Spanish police stopped Mr Tveter about to cross into Gibraltar on January 13th.
He was held in custody in Spain for almost two weeks until he was brought back to Ireland on Wednesday and charged. The Director of Public Prosecutions has directed that the case will go forward on indictment in the Circuit Court, which has wider sentencing powers.
Mr Collier had said his client, a telecommunications engineer, claims he was told by Norwegian police that “the matter is now closed”.
However, the garda replied that the offence did not occur in Norway, and that he advised the accused to return.
He feared the accused would leave the jurisdiction and not return if released.
Mr Collier said the case against his client was that he hired a car in Dublin in 2020 and left the jurisdiction with it despite being told by the rental company he could not do that.
Later, he was stopped in Norway by local police, who recovered the car.
The court heard it was returned "eventually".
He conceded his client did not have anywhere to live in Ireland but wished to be able to leave the country and return for scheduled court appearances.
Judge Kelly had said she had “grave concerns” about releasing him on bail.
Mr Tveter, who has been granted legal aid, did not address the court during his hearings on Monday or last week.