• Norway edition
 

Breivik defence urges 'mildest possible penalty'

Published: 22 Jun 2012 08:50 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jun 2012 12:29 GMT+02:00

Defence lawyers on Friday asked that Anders Behring Breivik be acquitted or be found sane and sent to prison as the trial of the man who killed 77 people in Norway last year wrapped up.

Breivik's main lawyer Geir Lippestad concluded two hours of closing arguments on the last day of the trial calling for Breivik to receive "the mildest possible" punishment.

Though there is no chance Breivik will be set free, the defence lawyer was formally obliged to request acquittal since Breivik has pleaded not guilty, despite confessing to carrying out the murderous twin attacks on July 22.

That day, 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. There, he spent more than an hour methodically shooting and killing another 69 people, mostly teenagers.

The victims, the youngest of whom had just celebrated her 14th birthday, had been attending a summer camp hosted by the governing Labour Party's youth organisation.

Breivik has evoked the "principle of necessity", claiming his attacks were "cruel but necessary" to protect Norway against a "Muslim invasion".

Yet after spending two hours mainly detailing why his client was sane and should be sent to prison and not a closed psychiatric ward as requested by prosecutors, Lippestad appeared reluctant to ask for acquittal.

He fumbled as he wrapped up his arguments, saying just that the defence wanted "Anders Behring Breivik to be viewed in the mildest possible way."

When lead judge Wenche Arntzen asked whether this meant he wanted to request acquittal, he first said "no", but after Breivik himself spoke up saying he had no choice, he conceded: "It is acquittal. That is right."

With no illusion of getting his client off, the defence however mainly focused on the tricky question of Breivik's sanity, which has been the main focus of his 10-week trial, which began on April 16th.

Psychiatric evaluations of Breivik's mental health have sharply contradicted each other, with two court-appointed expert teams reaching diametrically opposed conclusions.

Breivik himself is intent on proving his sanity to establish that his far-right, Islamophobic ideology is not just the rantings of a lunatic.

If found sane when the judges hand down their verdict on July 20th or August 24th, Breivik will likely be sentenced to Norway's harshest penalty: 21 years in prison, with the possibility to extend the sentence for as long as he is considered a danger to society.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Feature
Feature: Norway's Dalai Lama dilemma
The Dalai Lama visiting Oslo in 2005. Photo: Håkon Mosvsvold Larsen/Scanpix

Feature: Norway's Dalai Lama dilemma

A planned visit by the Dalai Lama has Oslo torn between its will to warm up frozen ties with China and warnings from the public not to compromise its stance on human rights, writes AFP's Pierre-Henry Deshayes. READ () »

'Some rapes less bad than others': psychiatrist
Abused girl File photo: Shutterstock

'Some rapes less bad than others': psychiatrist

A psychiatrist in Norway has called for rape to be divided into different categories, with some -- such as when a man penetrates a woman he has gone to bed with while she is sleeping -- classed as less serious. READ () »

Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger
Panchakulasingam Kandiah, leader of Norway's National Council of Eelam Tamils, kneeling in front of a tombstone set up outside Norway's to symbolise the killing of Tamils ​​in Sri Lanka. Photo: Heiko

Sri Lanka demands arrest of suspected Tamil Tiger

Sri Lanka's government has sent out an alert demanding that Norway's government arrest Perinpanayagam Sivaparan, an Oslo-based Tamil, claiming that he is the new leader of the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). READ () »

Norway Conservative jailed for nude pic theft
Tor Johannes Helleland. Photo: Drammen Municipality

Norway Conservative jailed for nude pic theft

A former Conservative party politician who stole nude pictures from the iCloud accounts of several girls he knew and posted them on the internet has been sentenced to 60 days in prison. READ () »

Oslo mulled scrapping Trafalgar Christmas tree
The Trafalgar Square tree on Christmas morning in 2011. Photo: Kevan Davis/Flickr

Oslo mulled scrapping Trafalgar Christmas tree

Oslo bureaucrats this year proposed ending a nearly 60-year-old tradition of sending a Christmas tree to Trafalgar Square in London before their suggestion was rejected outright by the city's mayor Fabian Stang. READ () »

City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes
City bikes in central Oslo. Photo: Clear Channel Norway

City bike bidders asked to scrap 1,300 bikes

Oslo's new city bike tender will require the winning bidder to scrap the city's existing 1,300 bikes and replace the 300 shelters where they're kept, leaving the leading bidders puzzled. READ () »

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats
One of the Asian crews on one of Norwegian Air Shuttles' new Dreamliner Aircraft. Photo: Norwegian

Kjos fills nine out of ten Dreamliner seats

Norwegian Air Shuttle last year filled nine out of ten seats on its new long-haul routes to the US And Thailand, despite the highly publicised delays faced by its new Dreamliner aircraft. READ () »

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK
A demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in Oslo in 2010 against the detention of Liu Xiaobo. Photo: Greg Rødland Buick/Amnesty International|Flickr

Norway and China hold secret Oslo talks: NRK

China has begun secret negotiations with Norway over ending the diplomatic freeze triggered by the award of the Nobel Peace Price to a leading Chinese dissident four years ago, NRK has reported. READ () »

Nazis and anti-racists threaten 'Congo village'
A screen grab from footage from the 1914 centennial celebrations of Norway's constitution. Photo: YouTube

Nazis and anti-racists threaten 'Congo village'

With both neo-Nazis and anti-racists apparently threatening to burn down his planned recreation of a 1914 Oslo 'human zoo', the Norwegian-Sudanese artist Mohamed Ali Fadlabi is now more convinced than ever of his idea. READ () »

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub
The ceremonial cutting of a Christmas tree intended for London in 2009. Photo: Oslo City Council

Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub

A proposal from Oslo's mayor to stop sending an annual Christmas tree to Reykjavik has sparked a furious reaction from Icelanders, many of whom have interpreted the move as a calculated snub. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
Icelanders frosty at Christmas tree snub
Tech
VIDEO: Norway's incredible rolling robot
National
Norway teen has lived in cave for a year
National
Hikers to wear green hats if 'open to romance'
National
Norway PM backs gay church weddings
National
Badger gets stuck in car grille and survives
National
Man at recycling plant finds $16,000 in old safe
Culture
Norway celebs plan own funerals in new show
National
Norway man finds adult toy in cod's stomach
International
McCain to vote down would-be envoy
Education
Oslo to get first Muslim primary school
Culture
VIDEO: Norway fans in second Sherlock skit
Advertisement:
Culture
Clooney to film North Sea divers movie
Society
VIDEO: Norway police's chilled way with drunk wows US
Education
VIDEO: Norway skydiver dodges meteorite
National
Oslo shortlisted for Green Capital 2016
International
Work to start on world's tallest wooden house
Culture
NRK boss: Slow TV 'difficult to joke with'
International
Stoltenberg named as next Nato boss
Society
'Silly walk' sign enrages roads agency
Norwegian tattoos McDonald's bill on arm
Sport
Norwegian man 'forgets' luxury boat for two years
Society
VIDEO: Oslo transformed into miniature city
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 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

321
jobs available