• Norway edition
 
Court likely to find Breivik sane: lawyer
Photo: Terje Bendiksby/Scanpix

Court likely to find Breivik sane: lawyer

Published: 12 Jun 2012 12:42 GMT+02:00

According to the defence lawyer Frode Sulland, who has watched the trial with interest, evidence presented over the last two weeks has lent increasing weight to the findings of a second court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.

Unlike the first review, it found that Breivik was not crazy and could be held criminally responsible for the dual terrorist attacks that left 77 people dead last July.

“That’s the way the wind is blowing,” Sulland told news agency NTB.

The lawyer added that testimony provided later this week by members of the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine would be crucial in determining whether Breivik is found sane or not.

“It will be interesting to hear why they did not have any comment to make on the first expert report. The report has not received any particular support from the evidence so far,” said Sulland.

While Breivik's guilt is not in doubt, his sanity is at the heart of the ongoing trial in Oslo, where he stands charged with committing acts of terrorism in his twin attacks in and near the capital.

He bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, then shot dead another 69, mainly teens, who were attending a summer camp held by the ruling Labour Party's youth wing on the island of Utøya.

He says his actions were to stop Norway falling victim to multiculturalism and a "Muslim invasion," and wants to be officially declared sane in a bid to ensure that his ideology is not written off as the ravings of a lunatic.

Psychiatrist Eirik Johannesen, who spent 26 hours speaking with the 33-year-old extremist in prison, told the Oslo district court on Monday he was "completely convinced" that Breivik was not psychotic.

Johannesen attributed Breivik’s radical views to political extremism and not mental illness.

"In light of his ideology, I don't think that he can be treated with therapy or with medicine," Johannesen said.

"He has created an identity to convince other right-wing extremists and fascists (to follow his example), an identity that doesn't correspond to who he really is. But not in a psychotic way," the psychologist added.

Experts have starkly different opinions about Breivik's sanity, with two court-ordered psychiatric evaluations reaching opposite conclusions.

The first conducted last year found him to be suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia" and therefore not responsible for his actions, while the second carried out shortly before his trial began in April concluded that he was sane.

Other experts testifying before the court have so far offered varying diagnoses for Breivik, but have all more or less agreed that he is criminally sane.

On Monday, a senior psychiatry professor, Einar Kringlen, explained why he had reversed his opinions, saying he long believed Breivik was insane but instead now favoured the second evaluation after seeing Breivik's behaviour in court.

"Evil cannot always be explained by illness," he said, pointing to the Holocaust as an example.

Meanwhile, the head of a team of 18 people tasked with monitoring Breivik in his cell almost around the clock for three weeks earlier this year said the mass murderer had shown no sign of psychosis at any point.

"It is very unlikely that he would be able to conceal a psychosis for three weeks," psychiatrist Maria Sigurjonsdottir testified.

If Breivik is found sane, he faces a 21-year jail term which could be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society. If he is found insane he would receive closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.

The five judges will rule on the question when they hand down their verdict either on July 20th or August 24th.

The Local/NTB/AFP (news@thelocal.no)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Wanted for TV doc: UK expats in Nordics
Kevin McCloud will host the television series. Photo: Optomen Television.

Wanted for TV doc: UK expats in Nordics

Have you and your family moved to a snowy wildscape in Scandinavia and set up eco-friendly home? If so, a British film production company would like to hear from you. READ  

World Chess Champs: Game ten result
Magnus Carlsen in control in Sochi. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

World Chess Champs: Game ten result

Magnus Carlsen drew for the eighth time against Vishy Anand in the tenth game of the World Championship in Russia on Friday, to maintain his lead 5.5 points to 4.5. READ  

Controversial VAT limit raised to 350 kroner
Norway government raises VAT limit for e-commerce Photo: Shutterstock

Controversial VAT limit raised to 350 kroner

The highly debated duty-free limit for imported goods has been finally set at 350 kroner by the Norwegian government, on Friday. READ  

Norway to grow food crops in space
NASA's International Space Station. Photo: Shutterstock

Norway to grow food crops in space

A team of scientists in Norway are set to research the possibility of growing plants and food crops in outer space, it was revealed on Friday. READ  

Queen Latifah to host Nobel award ceremony
Queen Latifah. Photo: Shutterstock

Queen Latifah to host Nobel award ceremony

US former rap artist turned Queen Latifah will host the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo in December. READ  

World Chess Champs: Ninth game, eighth draw
Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

World Chess Champs: Ninth game, eighth draw

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand drew the ninth match of the World Chess Championship on Thursday, in a match pundits described as "boring". READ  

Sham healer jailed for harming cancer victim

Sham healer jailed for harming cancer victim

A 70-year-old self-confessed alternative medicine man has been jailed in Norway after he gave misleading and illegal advice to a terminally cancer patient, it was revealed on Thursday. READ  

Oslo: Home to Nordics' most expensive property
Panorama view of Oslo, Norway. Photo: Shutterstock

Oslo: Home to Nordics' most expensive property

A three-bedroom apartment sold for a cool 40 million kroner price-tag in Norway this week, making it the most expensive property per square metre ever sold among the Nordic nations. READ  

Norway number two at feeling free

Norway number two at feeling free

Norway has been ranked as the second-best country in the world for their citizens perceiving holding personal freedom, a recent study revealed. READ  

Norway fells its London Christmas tree gift
Oslo Mayor Fabian Stang and Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Audrey Lewis. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway fells its London Christmas tree gift

The 67-year tradition of Norway cutting down a fir tree to give to England in time for Christmas, took place on Wednesday, watched by a very special Royal guest. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
Norwegian Ebola victim free of virus
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
Society
Norwegian 'child bride' to marry in Oslo
Society
The fickle five: Meet the Nobel commitee
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
Society
Queen Sonja of Norway's nephew jailed
National
Ex-Norway PM set to become head of Nobel
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
Society
Norway's Princess of the Paranormal under fire
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
National
Photo: Baby cliff edge shocker in Norway
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
Culture
Britney to visit Norway for lingerie launch
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
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
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

300
jobs available
The Local Spain is hiring!
The Local is seeking a new editor for our site in Spain to join our growing team of internationally-minded, driven, ambitious and clued-up journalists
Click here for the full job description