• Norway edition
 
Norway mass killer may avoid jail: prosecutor
File photo: Flowers in front of Oslo Cathedral

Norway mass killer may avoid jail: prosecutor

Published: 29 Nov 2011 12:18 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Nov 2011 17:56 GMT+01:00

Two psychiatrists who have been examining the 32-year-old right-wing extremist since his twin attacks on July 22 concluded in the report they handed over to the Oslo district court on Tuesday that he had over time developed "paranoid schizophrenia."

Prosecutors said that if the diagnosis is confirmed by a forensic medicine board, they would ask for him to be sentenced to "compulsory mental health care," possibly for life, instead of prison.

"The experts describe a person who finds himself in his own delusional universe, where all of his thoughts and acts are governed by these illusions," prosecutor Svein Holden told reporters in Oslo.

The two experts who conducted 13 interviews over 36 hours with the right-wing extremist described in their 243-page report a person who had "grandiose illusions whereby he believes he is to determine who is to live and who is to die," Holden said.

He "committed these executions out of love for his people as he describes it," Holden said.

On July 22nd, he first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people.

After that, he went to the island of Utøya, some 40 kilometres northwest of Oslo, where, disguised as a police officer, he spent nearly an hour and a half methodically shooting and killing another 69 people attending a summer camp, most of them teenagers.

The killings were the deadliest attacks committed in Norway since World War II, and profoundly shocked the normally tranquil nation.

Although he has confessed to the facts, Behring Breivik has refused to plead guilty, claiming he was waging a war and that his actions were "atrocious but necessary."

The confessed killer, who previously said he was on a crusade against multi-culturalism and the "Muslim invasion" of Europe, predicted according to the psychiatric evaluation a scenario whereby his alleged organisation, "the Knights Templar, take over power in Europe and he puts himself forward tentatively as the future regent in Norway."

The populist right-wing and anti-immigration Progress Party, which once counted Behring Breivik as a member, demanded a new evaluation of the gunman.

"It is completely incomprehensible and surprising that an individual who has planned these acts in such detail and who has proven himself capable of carrying them out should be declared unaccountable," vice party chair Per Sandberg told the VG daily's online edition.

Among survivors of the island massacre, reactions varied.

"It feels good to hear that this man is crazy," Adrian Pracon, who was seriously injured on Utøya, said on microblogging site Twitter.

"It was obvious that he was not normal, but you can have serious psychological symptoms and still be (criminally) responsible," another survivor, Torunn Kanutte Husvik, told the NTB news agency.

Jarl Robert Christensen, who lost his 15-year-old daughter on the island, hailed that the psychiatric conclusions were "the worst possible" for Behring Breivik, who considers himself a great thinker.

This "pulverises his whole ideology, and I feel good about that," he told the commercial TV2 News Channel.

"But for us, no punishment will ever be enough," he added.

The psychiatric evaluation will now be examined by a committee of forensic experts before the court, which usually follows expert recommendations, makes the final call on whether Behring Breivik should be considered criminally insane.

The final conclusion will only affect sentencing and should have no impact on the criminal trial to determine his guilt, scheduled to start on April 16th, 2012 and to last about 10 weeks.

If he is declared criminally insane and sentenced to closed psychiatric care, a judge will review his sentence every three years.

If he recovers from his illness, he could theoretically be transferred to a prison if he were considered a threat to society. He could also be released if the opposite scenario were to present itself.

His release is however considered a very unlikely scenario, and several lawyers of survivors and family members of the victims have said they are confident he will remain locked up for the rest of his life.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Beach cleaners find polar bear stuck in net
Polar bear gets caught up in an Arctic cleaning project in Norway. Photo: Polar bear paw Shutterstock

Beach cleaners find polar bear stuck in net

A polar bear trapped in a net was one of the stranger discoveries found by volunteers in Northern Norway, working on a beach cleaning project this year. READ  

Camel goes walkabout on Norway roundabout
Police rescued an escaped circus camel in Trøndelag. Photo: Tor Aage Hansen / NTB scanpix

Camel goes walkabout on Norway roundabout

A circus camel had to be rescued after it escaped its owners and went for a walk around a Norwegian town on Tuesday. READ  

Government vows to cover costs of terror alert
Minister of Finance Siv Jensen will take care of the terror alert costs. Photo: Anette Karlsen / NTB scanpix

Government vows to cover costs of terror alert

The government will cover the additional costs incurred by the police and other organizations linked to the terror threat, said Norway's minister of finance. READ  

Feature
Interview: Jan Berglund, Chess Olympiad ambassador
Jan Sigmund Berglund, head event coordinator of the Chess Olympiad 2014, held in Norway.

Interview: Jan Berglund, Chess Olympiad ambassador

In August the Chess Olympiad comes to Tromsø. 181 countries take part, crowning it the third biggest sporting event in the world. The Local makes its move to meet Jan Sigmund Berglund, head event coordinator of the event and a key ambassador of the sport in the Arctic Circle. READ  

Muslim leaders must curb extremism: Labour
Jonas Gahr Støre. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Muslim leaders must curb extremism: Labour

Muslim leaders must take more responsibility for stopping hardline extremism, said Norway's Labour Party chairman on Tuesday, in the wake of the terror alerts in Norway. READ  

Swedish terrorism expert slams Norway terror alert
Information or propaganda? Statsbygg put up a poster about the terror incidents on the 22nd of July 2011 and plans for the work on the damaged government buildings. Photo: Berit Roald / Scanpix

Swedish terrorism expert slams Norway terror alert

A Swedish terrorism researcher has blasted Norway's handling of its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total intelligence failure". READ  

Norway set to reduce terror alert
Jon Ståle Stamnes, Assistant National Police Commissioner at The Norwegian Police Directorate. Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix

Norway set to reduce terror alert

Norway's terror alert level will be reduced from Tuesday, but security will still be somewhat tighter than normal, police chiefs said on Monday. READ  

Security fears disrupt Norway soccer cup
Prime Minister Erna Solberg visits Norway Cup on Ekebergsletta, Oslo. She poses with players from Norway and Malawi. Photo: Audun Braastad / NTB scanpix

Security fears disrupt Norway soccer cup

The world's biggest football tournament opened in Norway on Sunday, amid fears the current terror threat may mar the sporting spectacle. READ  

US or Israel 'behind terror': Islamic leader
Ubaydullah Maroof Hussain. Photo: Thomas Winje Øijord / NTB scanpix

US or Israel 'behind terror': Islamic leader

Muslims in Syria do not understand why Norway is under a terror alert and it is likely propaganda to distract from the troubles in Gaza, says an Islamic spokesperson living in Oslo. READ  

Police know group behind terror threats
Armed police patrolling Oslo Central Train Station on Friday. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Police know group behind terror threats

Police in Norway have confirmed on Sunday they know who are behind the terror threats which have disrupted the country, but not where the group is hiding. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Travel
Plans unveiled for bike trail along former Iron Curtain
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
Society
Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Politics
Norway PM beats Candy Crush level 300
Culture
Norway sticks with fårikål as national dish
International
Cold bathing craze leads to teen death
Society
Sweden threatens to 'annex' the ostehøvel
National
Baby squirrels survive cat attack
Society
Norway's 'cushy' prisons spurring foreign cons
National
Half Norwegians overweight: Gates study
International
VIDEO: Jagland doing press-ups in Donetsk
Business & Money
Striking Norway barbers: 'Let your hair grow'
Culture
Rihanna 'hard to please', Norway's Stargate reveal
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

353
jobs available