It is not clear to what extent the family has taken advice from the Police, but the payment of such a huge sum in advance, is clearly not the Police’s recommendation.
If indeed correct, this move is bad for the investigation.
On a macro level, this is about following an overall investigation strategy, something that is the Police’s responsibility. A sensible strategy does not allow for such payments.
On a micro level the Police should be allowed to ensure that every little step is tactically smart and designed to extract as much information as possible.
The family’s lawyer and the Police have expressed different views as to whether this seems like a kidnapping or a murder case. The family’s advance payment also demonstrates a practical discrepancy.
The payment is also bad for Ms. Hagen, should she be alive. Having received 10 million kroner for nothing, the culprits can sit back and take it easy. There is no need to rush anything and take risks to cash in the ransom. Meaning, there is probably no instant release in sight for Ms. Hagen. On the contrary, the family has now signalled that they can easily be squeezed, an advantage the culprits can exploit if real ransom negotiations ever materialize. It has happened that kidnappers got the ransom they claimed but kept the victim, demanding double payment. The 10 million kroner might give the criminals some nasty ideas.
Families who find themselves in such situations, frequently engage professional hostage negotiators. Assigning a lawyer for this kind of work is no obvious choice. But whether a lawyer or a specialist is engaged, close cooperation with the Police is paramount. The advance payment, if it really happened, suggests a worrying lack of professionalism.