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Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Killer’s Prosecutors Ask For Psychiatric Care

Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right fanatic, who has admitted to the massacre and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, 2011 arrives in the courtroom in Oslo, Monday May 7, 2012. (Photo/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix, Pool)

Anders Behring Breivik, a far-right fanatic, who has admitted to the massacre and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, 2011 arrives in the courtroom in Oslo, Monday May 7, 2012. (Photo/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix, Pool)

Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Killer’s Prosecutors Ask For Psychiatric Care

OSLO, Norway — Prosecutors on Thursday asked a court to send confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik to a mental institution instead of prison for his massacre of 77 people in a gun and shooting rampage.

If the court comes to the same conclusion when it issues its ruling, expected next month, it would mean that Breivik would avoid criminal responsibility for Norway’s worst peacetime massacre.

The attacks at Norway’s government headquarters and a youth summer camp would then not be considered acts of political terrorism, but the work of a blood-thirsty madman.

“We request that he is transferred to compulsory psychiatric care,” prosecutor Svein Holden told the court in closing arguments.

Though there was inconclusive evidence that Breivik was psychotic during the July 22 attacks, there were enough doubts about his sanity that he cannot be sentenced to prison under Norwegian law, Holden said.

The defense is likely to refute the insanity finding on Friday, the last day of the 10-week trial. Breivik, who styles himself as an anti-Muslim militant, claims he is sane and that his attacks were motivated by his political views.

Just like when the trial stared in mid-April, the 33-year-old Norwegian flashed a clenched-fist salute with his right arm before he was led out of the court on Thursday.

Earlier in the trial, Breivik said the psychiatric dimension of the case was a way for Norwegian authorities to ridicule him and divert attention from his ideology.

Breivik claims Norway and Europe are being colonized by Muslims, who make up about 2 percent of Norway’s population. He has said he selected his targets – a government high-rise and a summer camp for the governing Labor Party’s youth organization – to strike against the political forces he claims betrayed the country with liberal immigration policies.

Some of those who lost family members in the massacre were disappointed by the decision.

“They say they want this to be a correct judgment,” said Mette Yvonne Larsen, a lawyer for the bereaved. “They think that imprisonment would be a more justified outcome of what happened on July 22.”

Two teams of psychiatrists reached opposite conclusions about Breivik’s mental health. The first team diagnosed him with “paranoid schizophrenia,” a serious mental illness which would preclude a prison sentence. The second team found him legally sane, saying he suffers from a dissocial and narcissistic personality disorder, but is not psychotic.

Prosecutors said one of the key challenges to Breivik’s sanity was his insistence of belonging to a militant anti-Muslim modeled after the Knights Templar, a Christian military order during the crusades, even though investigators have found no trace of the network.

Though Breivik tried to tone down the significance of the network during the trial, he maintained that it exists and that there are two other cells in Norway.

After the hearing Thursday, prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh stressed that a commitment to psychiatric care would mean that Breivik would be put away for a long time, maybe for the rest of his life.

“We have murderers who have been sentenced to psychiatric care who will probably never get out again,” Engh said, noting that none of them had killed 77 people.

If the court opts for a prison term instead, prosecutors said their preference would be the maximum sentence of 21 years. A sentence can be extended beyond that if a prisoner is considered a menace to society.

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20 Comments »

  1. 9mm psychiatric care

  2. That’s absurd. He should be sent to prison, given that Norway doesn’t have the death penalty, and letting a mass-murderer not go to prison is an insult to the victims. Having extremist political views is NOT a symptom of insanity. It’s the by-product of an unusual upbringing and entry into isolated conspiracy theory circles.

  3. The kind of mental institution they’re talking about is very much a prison. He clearly need mental health care, and is probably too difficult to deal with in a regular prison.

  4. We do this in America all the time. Ronald Reagan and John Lennon’s assassins are still in mental institutions.

  5. Damon, how about electrodes attached to the genitals and anus, type of psychiatric care?

  6. It shouldn’t be instead of…he needs both! Ya gotta be crazy to kill one person let alone 77!

  7. What a croc! Let me give him care at 200 yards, one shot at a time!

  8. Not necessarily a bad thing. Prison sentences are for defined times. Mental health commitments for criminal behaviour are indefinite, until the patient is cured. This guy is probably never going to be “cured”, so he may end his miserable existence in a mental hospital’s locked, maximum securoty ward.

  9. Why don’t they just release him in a room full of his victims’ families. They can rip him to pieces and swim in his blood.

  10. Do we have any respect for institutions of government at all?

  11. Lets grind him up and eat him at a Texas barbecue!

  12. It’s kind of a strong statment. The prosecuters pressing for psychatric care for him is basicully saying straight the the guys face that they think everything he believes in is nuts and ridiclious. What a greater way to shame a man then to infront of the entire world claim his insainity?

  13. It is the punishment he deserves, seeing he repeatedly stated that he is sane and therefore should be sent to prison and not to a mental ward. The other thing why it is important to send him to an institution, apart from Milton’s reason, is that in a prison he would surely claim to be a political prisoner and might therefore rouse some people with a lower or low normal IQ or with similar delusions as him to take up his “cause”. The death penalty (which does not exist in Europe, by the way) would make a martyr out of this scumbag.

  14. BULLSHIT! He knew what he was doibg!

  15. BULLSHIT! He knew what he was doibg!

  16. Of course, if it included shock therapy…lots and lots of shock therapy…

  17. We need to build a special Guantanamo for him and Sandusky. Toss Gellar in too.

  18. I’d like to propose that the Norwegian High Courts insert a stick of dynamite up this bozo’s ass (without any lube) and televises it to the world.

  19. I’d like to propose that the Norwegian High Courts insert a stick of dynamite up this bozo’s ass (without any lube) and televises it to the world.

  20. […] Anders Behring Breivik Trial: Norway Killer’s Prosecutors Ask For Psychiatric Care […]

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