• Norway edition
 

Prosecutors want Breivik to be found insane

Published: 21 Jun 2012 14:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 21 Jun 2012 17:32 GMT+02:00

Should the Oslo district court judges however find that the confessed killer is sane, prosecutor Svein Holden asked them to sentence Breivik to Norway's maximum penalty of 21 years in prison, which can be extended for as long as he is considered a danger to society.

A visibly angry Breivik stood up and made a fascist-style stiff arm salute when he heard the call for psychiatric confinement.

"Our request is that he be obliged to undergo psychiatric treatment" in a closed unit, Holden said, wrapping up the prosecution's three-hour closing arguments on the next-to-last day of the trial.

"If the court concludes ... that Breivik is responsible, the prosecution deems that the conditions have been fulfilled for prison" with a provision allowing the sentence to be extended, he added.

In such case, Holden said, "there is no doubt that Breivik must receive the harshest penalty: 21 years" with the extension provision.

Following Holden's remarks, the 33-year-old right-wing extremist stood up and touched a clenched right fist to his chest before stretching his arm out in a nationalist salute he had made on the first days of his trial in April but had stopped doing at the request of his lawyers.

Breivik is intent on being found sane to ensure his Islamophobic ideology is not written off as crazy ravings.

The five judges are expected to announce their verdict on either July 20th or August 24th. The trial is to wrap up on Friday with the defence's closing arguments.

Laying out the prosecution's arguments, Holden said he would rather err on the side of caution, stressing it was worse to sentence someone who is psychotic to prison than to send someone who is not psychotic to psychiatric care.

"We are not convinced or sure that Breivik is criminally insane, but we are in doubt," Holden said.

Psychiatric evaluations of Breivik's mental health have sharply contradicted each other.

But Holden and his colleague Inga Bejer Engh followed the line presented by a first court-ordered assessment, which found Breivik to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Holden pointed for instance to his stubborn claims about a militant nationalist network, the Knights Templar, despite "overwhelming evidence" that it did not exist.

Earlier, Bejer Engh told the court that "July 22nd, 2011 was and is still a national trauma. Thousands of people were directly or indirectly affected."

She cautioned that many of the most pressing questions in the case, including how "a citizen became a murder machine", probably would not be sufficiently answered to satisfy those affected.

On July 22nd, Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in  Oslo, killing eight people, before travelling to Utøya island, north-west of the capital, where he spent more than an hour methodically shooting and killing another 69 people, mostly teenagers.

The victims had been attending a summer camp hosted by the governing Labour Party's youth organisation.

"I find it difficult to find words to describe the 80 minutes he spent ... with only one goal: to kill as many people as possible," Bejer Engh said.

Breivik, who has been charged with "acts of terror", has told the court what he did was "cruel but necessary" to protect Norway from a wave of multiculturalism and a "Muslim invasion".

A majority of psychiatric experts who have observed Breivik in detention and in court have agreed that he is not suffering from a psychosis, but rather some form of personality disorder -- which would mean he could be sentenced to prison.

An opinion poll published Thursday indicated 74 percent of Norwegians want Breivik to be sent to prison, while only 10 percent think he should be sent to an insane asylum.

Breivik himself has said court-ordered psychiatric confinement would be "a fate worse than death."

The trial, which opened on April 16th, concludes on Friday with the defence lawyers' closing arguments. They are expected to call for Breivik to be acquitted, since, despite his confession, he has pleaded not guilty.

Alternatively, they will ask that he be found sane and sent to prison.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Mystery death of English footballer in Norway
23-year-old Thomas Andrew Morgan found dead in an Oslo river.

Mystery death of English footballer in Norway

An English footballer who played for a Norwegian second division side was found dead on Tuesday. READ  

Woman scoops Norway's second-largest lotto win
One lucky Norwegian won 127 million kroner on the National Lottery. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB scanpix

Woman scoops Norway's second-largest lotto win

A woman from Kristiansund won 127 million kroner on the Norwegian Lottery on Wednesday, the second biggest win in the the history of the Norwegian Lottery. READ  

Russia's Lavrov to visit Norway for war event
King Harald speaks at the Bjørnevatn tunnel in Finnmark. Photo: Knut Falch / NTB scanpix

Russia's Lavrov to visit Norway for war event

Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, will join Norwegians this weekend in commemorating the Russian army's liberation of Norway from Nazi rule. READ  

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam
Norwegian police exposed the teen's online sex scam. Photo: Shutterstock

Norwegian teens caught in fake web sex scam

Two teenage boys from Norway swindled many thousands of kroner after they posted fake sex ads on an online website, it was revealed on Wednesday. READ  

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts
Finance Minister Siv Jensen wants cuts for parents of disabled children in Norway. Foto: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Norway to save millions in child benefit cuts

The Norwegian government is set to save 590 million kroner ($90 million) if it goes ahead with its proposed budget cuts on child support for disability benefit claimants, Norway's finance minister revealed in a letter. READ  

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets
A Norwegian owned F-16. Photo: Lars Magne Hovtun / Forsvaret / Scanpix

Russia tensions prompt Norway to hold back jets

Increased Russian military activity is one of several reasons to why Norway did not send its fighter jet planes to Iraq and the war against Isis, according to Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Wednesday. READ  

Boxing fights for legal status in Norway
Boxers like Cecilia Brækhus could soon be fighting in venues across Norway. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Boxing fights for legal status in Norway

Norway could lift its ban on professional boxing as early as the turn of the New Year, the government announced on Tuesday. READ  

Presented by CurrencyFair
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
CurrencyFair co-founder Brett Meyers

CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers

Tired of losing money when you send cash back home? Join other expats in Norway who avoid bank fees and hidden charges by sending money internationally with CurrencyFair, an online marketplace where secure transactions are faster and cheaper. READ  

Bed bugs in Norway make comeback
Photo: Bedbug Shutterstock

Bed bugs in Norway make comeback

Bed bugs that once nearly died out altogether in Norway are back more prevalent than ever, pest experts have warned. READ  

Komplett set to downsize in Norway over VAT hike
Ole Vinje, CEO of Komplett.no (left) debates government policy with MPs Olav Nils Sunde and Trygve Slagsvold Vedum. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Komplett set to downsize in Norway over VAT hike

Internet retailer Komplett.no is set to move most of their business operations from Norway to Sweden if the Norwegian government's proposal of raising the VAT limit on ecommerce transactions goes ahead. 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
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
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
Seaman Oliver Gee with his first lobster
Lifestyle
How to catch the first lobster of the year
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
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

383
jobs available