• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Breivik defence urges 'mildest possible penalty'

AFP · 22 Jun 2012, 12:29

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

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.

Story continues below…

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.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
PM slammed for playing Pokémon at defence hearing
Grande's behaviour during the hearing was all over the Norwegian media. Photo: Stortinget TV / NTB scanpix

She said playing the game helps her "listen better".

Tanks, guns and bras: Norway's women join the draft
Selection exercises during Joint admission and selection camp 2016. Photo: Olav Standal Tangen/Forsvaret

They sweat together, they sleep together: Norway has introduced compulsory military service for women, even bunking them in mixed dorms with their brothers-in-arms.

Norway PM hunts Pokémon in Slovakia
Solberg, shown here at the Arendal political forum earlier this month, said she recently got hooked on Pokémon Go. Photo:Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

An avid gamer, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg took a break from her official duties in Bratislava this week to hunt for Pokemon monsters in the Slovak capital's old town.

Western Norway braces for extremely heavy rains
Heavy rains in Bergen earlier this month. Photo: Marit Hommedal / NTB scanpix

Residents requested to stay off the roads.

Norwegians conquer England in record time
(L-R) Øystein Garfos, Øystein Djupvik, Andreas Munkelien and Gunnar Garfors

Another wacky record in the books for Norway's extreme travellers.

Norway asylum centres report increase in teen prostitution
File photo of an asylum centre in Råde. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Reports increased fivefold between 2014 and 2015 and officials fear there are more unreported cases.

New signs of life in the Norwegian economy
Finance Norway CEO Idar Kreuetzer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Positive signals in Finance Norway’s quarterly expectations survey are being interpreted as yet another sign that the Norwegian economy is over the hump.

Car fires in Oslo as burnings reported across Scandinavia
There is no immediate indication that the Oslo car fires are connected to the more than 70 car fires in Malmö, pictured here. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT/Scanpix

No indication that the two car fires in the Norwegian capital are connected to a series of suspected arson attacks in Sweden and Denmark.

Five things to know about the Philippine peace talks in Oslo
Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende greets participants as the peace talks get underway in Oslo on Monday. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Can the talks in Oslo put an end to a nearly 50-year rebellion?

Norway talks spur hopes for Philippine peace deal
(L-R) Jose Maria Sison (NDFP), Elisabeth Slåttum, FM Børge Brende, Jesus Dureza (GPH) and Luis Jalandori begin peace talks. Photo: Berit Roald/NTB Scanpix

Norway-mediated talks aim to end one of Asia's longest insurgencies.

Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Travel
Frozen effect bringing 'too many tourists' to Norway
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norway's angel princess divorces novelist husband
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
National
Norwegian motorist kills 19 reindeer in bloody collision
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Lifestyle
'Tick here please': Changing gender in Norway gets easier
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
2,027
jobs available