• 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
Norway name new captain for England game
Per Ciljan Skjelbred is Norway's new first team captain. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Norway name new captain for England game

National coach Per-Mathias Høgmo has named Per Ciljan Skjelbred as Norway's new captain on Tuesday ahead of the friendly against England. READ  

Oslo and Gothenburg plan direct rail link
Oslo and Gothenburg (above) set to connect. Photo: Colorful roofs of Gothenburg Sweden

Oslo and Gothenburg plan direct rail link

Norway and Sweden have agreed to start planning a direct train connection between the cities. READ  

Five people eat deadly mushrooms in Norway

Five people eat deadly mushrooms in Norway

Five people are seriously ill after eating poisonous mushrooms on Friday. READ  

Lene Marlin reveals suicide attempt
Norwegian artist Lene Marlin. Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Lene Marlin reveals suicide attempt

Musician Lene Marlin has won praise from fans and critics after her openness about depression and a suicide attempt due to the pressures of work and fame. READ  

Øyer murder suspect back in Norway for trial
First images from inside court: Kim Andreas Kristiansen (right) with defence lawyer Geir Lippestad. Photo: Marte Christensen / NTB scanpix

Øyer murder suspect back in Norway for trial

Kim Andreas Kristiansen, the man charged with killing his step-father in Øyer, has appeared in court in Norway on Monday after being extradited from Holland. READ  

Samurai sword attack at Norway wedding
Two Norwegian wedding guests were stabbed by attackers in Skedsmo. Photo: Shutterstock

Samurai sword attack at Norway wedding

Wedding guests in the town of Skedsmo, central Norway, watched in horror as two men were attacked with a Samurai sword on Sunday. READ  

Norway's teachers' strike over as unions agree
Pupils return to Norway schools from Tuesday after teachers' conflicts resolved. Photo: Shutterstock

Norway's teachers' strike over as unions agree

Agreement has been reached about teachers' working hours, ending the strikes that have disrupted Norway for over two weeks, it was announced on Monday. READ  

Base jumper dies in Oslo ski ramp plunge
Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Base jumper dies in Oslo ski ramp plunge

An unidentified person was found dead after a failed base jump at the Holmenkollen ski jump ramp in Oslo on Sunday. READ  

Plane forced to emergency land in Oslo
The Novair Airbus plane with a punctured tire performs an emergency landing in Oslo Gardermoen. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Plane forced to emergency land in Oslo

A plane carrying 191 passengers had to circle over Oslo for hours before emergency landing at Gardermoen airport after a suspected flat tyre after taking off on Sunday. READ  

Ebola threat to Norway: Sweden fears first case

Ebola threat to Norway: Sweden fears first case

Sweden has confirmed a suspected case of Ebola on Sunday, making it possibly the first Nordic case of the virus. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
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
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

326
jobs available