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POLICE

Breivik returns to Ila prison

Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik returned to Ila prison on Wednesday after spending a month in another facility amid renovations at the jail in south-eastern Norway.

Breivik returns to Ila prison
The cell where Anders Behring Breivik writes his correspondence (Photo: Ila fengsel og forvaringsanstalt/Glefs AS)

A police cortège accompanied the 33-year-old right-wing extremist as he was driven from Skien prison at 11am before arriving at Ila at 1.10pm.

Breivik, who has admitted to killing 77 people in twin terrorist attacks last July, will learn of his fate when an Oslo court announces its verdict on Friday.

“We’re ready to take in Breivik regardless of whether he is sentenced to prison or compulsory psychiatric care,” said Ila director Knut Bjarkeid in a statement.

In the case of an insanity verdict, staff from Dikemark psychiatric hospital will likely be entrusted with his care at a special one-man hospital within the Ila prison grounds.

The prison is also working on the construction of a new high-security wing where Breivik will later be held if the court finds he was sane when he set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo before embarking on his shooting rampage on the island of Utøya. Work on the new block is expected to be completed next autumn.

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POLICE

Norwegian police end emergency carrying of arms

The temporary arming of all police in Norway, ordered after an attack in Kongsberg left five dead, ended on Friday morning. 

Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo.
Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo. Photo by David Hall on Flickr.

The order for all police in Norway to be armed following an attack in Kongsberg last week was lifted on Friday morning. 

The police said in a statement Friday that, based on the information it had received from police security service PST, there was no longer any basis for maintaining the national armament order. 

“Norwegian police are basically unarmed in daily service, with firearms being stored in police vehicles, and police can be armed in connection with specific missions when needed. In that sense, we are now moving to a normal situation,” Tone Vangen, emergency preparedness director for the police, said in a statement

The police had been armed since last Wednesday following the incident in Kongsberg where Danish citizen Espen Andersen Bråthen killed five with an undisclosed sharp object and shot at police with a bow and arrow.

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

Police said earlier this week that the victims were chosen at random. The Danish citizen was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Bråthen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

The 37-year-old had previously announced publicly that he had converted to Islam and police initially reported that there had been fears of radicalisation. 

But police later said that mental illness was to be considered the primary motive for the attack. 

 “As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt said to reporters earlier this week. 

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