"There is absolutely no reason to appeal if I am declared criminally accountable," said the 33-year-old rightwing extremist who wants to be found sane -- even if it means facing a long prison sentence -- so that his Islamophobic ideology will not be considered the ravings of a lunatic.
Breivik: 'No reason' to appeal if I'm found sane
25 May 2012
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Photo: NTB scanpix
25 May 2012
Anders Behring Breivik told an Oslo court on Thursday that he would not appeal a guilty verdict if the judges deem him sane enough to be criminally responsible for his actions which left 77 people dead in twin terror attacks last year.
Breivik has confessed to the twin attacks but has refused to plead guilty, insisting they were "cruel but necessary" to stop the ruling Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.
On the 24th day of his 10-week trial, Breivik said he believed he had succeeded in using his court case to spread his ideology to the masses.
"My remarks were not broadcast live on television but at least the transcript was published," he said.
The question of Breivik's sanity is a focal point of the trial.
A first psychiatric evaluation conducted last year by two court-appointed psychiatrists found Breivik to be psychotic, suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia" and therefore not responsible for his actions.
That diagnosis would likely lead to him being sent to a closed mental ward.
But a second opinion concluded that Breivik was sane enough to be held responsible.
If found of sound mind, he would likely face Norway's maximum 21-year prison sentence, which can be extended for as long as he is considered a threat to society.
On July 22nd, 2011, Breivik gunned down 69 people on the island of Utøya most of them teenagers who were attending a Labour Party youth camp, while another eight died when he bombed a government building in Oslo earlier the same day.
Ultimately it will be up to the five judges to decide whether he is sane when they hand down their verdict in July.
The judges will base their decision on the psychiatric evaluations and testimony expected in mid-June from the authors of those reports, as well as other psychiatric experts
"The question of an appeal lies therefore in the hands of the judges," Breivik said Thursday, appearing to put pressure on the court to find him sane.
In brief remarks made to the court, Breivik also explained his apparent lack of emotion and reactions during the often harrowing testimony from the survivors of the Utøya shooting massacre.
"It has been said that I show no emotion in court but it is worth noting that I am putting a lot of energy into that," he said, adding that he was in reality "almost mentally injured" by the testimony.
At the start of his trial in mid-April, Breivik told the court he had trained extensively to control his emotions as part of his preparation for the attacks and to enable him to sit through the ensuing trial without "falling apart."
His lawyer Geir Lippestad confirmed that Breivik had said he would not lodge an appeal but left some room for doubt nonetheless.
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"That's what he says," Lippestad told AFP, before adding: "But we have to wait and see what he will do."
Breivik's comments came as a debate simmered over the validity of the two psychiatric evaluations.
A panel of forensic experts tasked with verifying that the evaluations were properly conducted approved the first one with no remarks.
But the diagnosis sparked a controversy, with many Norwegians stunned to hear that a man who methodically planned the massacres in minute detail for years was insane and not responsible for his actions.
The court therefore ordered a second opinion which concluded that he was sane, but the panel of experts made ambiguous remarks about the quality of that evaluation.
The court on Thursday officially asked the panel to clarify its position on the second opinion before June 1st.