Breivik trial: Facts and figures

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik opens next Monday and will last about 10 weeks, involving hundreds of people.

Here are some facts about the trial:

The actors

– The judges: Breivik's fate will be decided by a panel of five judges, comprising two professional judges and three lay judges whose votes will all weigh equally. The chief judge is one of the professionals, Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen

– The defence: Breivik will be defended by Geir Lippestad and three assistants

– The prosecution: two state prosecutors, Inga Bejer Engh and Svein Holden

– The victims: more than 770 survivors and families of the victims, represented by 162 lawyers

– The witnesses: close to 150 people are expected to testify

Preliminary timeline of the trial

– April 16-23: Breivik testifies

– April 24-30: Focus on the bombing of the government offices, testimony from forensic experts and witnesses

– May 3-June 1: Focus on the shooting rampage on Utøya island, testimony from forensic experts and witnesses

– June 4: Focus on Breivik's arrest

– June 4 and 5: Testimony from Breivik's friends and family  

– June 6: Details from the investigation

– June 7-15: Witnesses called by the defence and counsel for the victims  

– June 18-20: Court-appointed psychiatrists present their diagnosis on Breivik's mental state

– June 21-22: Closing arguments


If the judges find Breivik sane, he risks:

– up to 21 years in prison, the maximum under Norwegian law for "acts of terror"

– preventive detention, which means up to 21 years in prison, with a provision allowing for extensions until he is no longer deemed a danger to society.

If the judges find Breivik insane:

– he will be sentenced to a closed psychiatric ward, possibly for the rest of his life. If he were to be found cured by the care he receives, he could be released as long as he is no longer considered a threat to society. If this condition is not fulfilled, he could be transferred to a prison under a provision that has only been used once in Norway.

The verdict

The verdict is expected in mid-July, though no specific date has been set yet. A majority vote by three of the five judges is needed, and will focus on the question of whether Breivik was criminally sane, which will determine whether he is sentenced to prison or a closed psychiatric ward.

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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.