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ANDERS BEHRING BREIVIK

Breivik’s psychiatric report due next week

A psychiatric assessment of the Norwegian gunman who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July will be submitted to the Oslo district court on November 29th, the court said on Tuesday.

Two psychiatrists have been asked to determine whether 32-year-old right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik was sane when he committed the attacks, and that evaluation will in turn determine whether he is sentenced to prison or psychiatric care.

Their report, which has been delayed by a month at their request, will be handed to the Oslo court at 9am, and the prosecutor's office is expected to reveal the main points at a press conference at 1pm.

Behring Breivik is currently begin detained in a high-security prison near Oslo. His trial is scheduled to open on April 16th, 2012 and last for about 10 weeks.

The maximum prison sentence for this type of crime under Norwegian law is 21 years, but Behring Brevik could stay behind bars longer if he is still considered a threat to society.

On July 22, Behring Breivik first set off a car bomb outside the government buildings in Oslo that house the offices of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, 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 killing another 69 people, most of them teenagers.

Although he has confessed to the facts, Behring Breivik has refused to plead guilty, insisting his actions were "atrocious but necessary."

He has claimed to have been on a crusade against multiculturalism and the "Muslim invasion" of Europe.

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TERRORISM

Kongsberg attacker killed victims with ‘sharp object’

Norwegian police said Monday that the five victims of last week's attack were killed by a "sharp object" used by the suspect, not a bow and arrows.

The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident.
The Kongsberg attacker is said to have killed five people with sharp objects. Pictured is police tape from a separate incident. Photo by Søren Storm Hansen on Flickr.

“At some point he discarded or lost his bow and arrows,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt told reporters.

He said that during the attack on Wednesday the suspect killed “five people with a sharp object both in private addresses and in public spaces”.

Police, who had previously said that the suspect Espen Andersen Brathen was armed with a bow and arrows and two other weapons, did not specify the nature of the sharp weapons, adding that they were still interviewing witnesses.

“Everything points to the victims being selected at random,” Omholt said.

According to the police, more than 10 people were also shot at with arrows at the start of the attack, but none were killed with this weapon.

READ MORE: Norway police query Kongsberg attacker’s Muslim faith

During police questioning, Brathen has confessed to the killings and to wounding three others.

The 37-year-old Danish citizen has announced publicly that he is a convert to Islam and initially police reported that there had been fears of radicalisation.

He is however being kept in a medical facility pending a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Brathen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

“As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” Omholt added.

On Saturday, police announced the identities of the five victims, four women and one man: Andrea Meyer, 52, Hanne Merethe Englund, 56, Liv Berit Borge, 75, Gunnar Erling Sauve, 75 and Gun Marith Madsen, 78.

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