Anders Behring Breivik: Norway court to deliver verdict
- 24 August 2012
- From the section Europe
A Norwegian court is due to deliver its verdict in the trial of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
Breivik has admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year.
The panel of five trial judges will have to rule on Breivik's sanity when they deliver their verdict.
Their conclusion will determine whether he is given a long prison sentence or sent to a secure psychiatric ward.
Breivik, 33, who insists he is sane, has refused to plead guilty and has sought to justify his attacks by saying they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.
Prosecutors have called for him to be considered insane.
On Thursday, security barriers were put up outside the Oslo district court ahead of Friday's sentence reading.
A glass partition will separate Breivik from relatives of victims in a courtroom custom-built for the trial.
Remote-controlled cameras will film the proceedings, sending the images to courtrooms around Norway where other relatives will watch the hearing live.
Breivik's 10-week trial was marked by harrowing testimony from witnesses.
Some victims at the Labour Party youth camp on Utoeya island were shot in the head at point-blank range.
Breivik carried out the meticulously planned attack in July 2011, wearing a fake police uniform, and methodically hunted down his victims.
He accused the Labour Party of promoting multiculturalism and endangering Norway's identity.
Throughout the trial, Breivik showed no sign of remorse. He began several hearings by giving a right-wing clenched fist salute.
If the judges conclude that Breivik was sane, he will be sent to prison. The maximum sentence in Norway is 21 years, although that can be extended if he is viewed as a danger to society.
If the court finds him insane, Breivik will be ordered to undergo treatment at a closed psychiatric unit - most likely at the same high-security prison where he is now.
Breivik has said that psychiatric care would be "worse than death".
His defence team has said that he will lodge an appeal against an insanity verdict.
Two teams of court-appointed psychiatrists who examined Breivik have reached different conclusions. The first said that he was a paranoid schizophrenic, but the second found that he was sane.
Earlier this month, Norway's police chief Oeystein Maeland resigned after an independent inquiry found that Breivik could have been stopped.
The report also criticised the "unacceptable" length of time police took to respond to the shootings.
Last year's attacks sparked a national debate in Norway about the nature of tolerance and democracy in the country