Anders Behring Breivik: Norway court finds him sane


Anders Breivik: "I cannot legitimise Oslo district court by accepting the sentence"

A Norwegian court has found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and sentenced him to 21 years in jail.

Breivik, who admitted killing 77 people when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp, told the court he would not appeal.

He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, saying last year's attacks were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.

Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane.

Breivik was convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder, and given the maximum sentence of 21 years' imprisonment.

However, that can be prolonged at a later date if he is deemed to remain a danger to society.

Planned attack

At the scene

Many relatives and survivors reacted with relief as Judge Wenche Arntzen declared Anders Breivik to be sane, sentencing him to at least 21 years in prison.

The mother of one 16-year-old girl who Breivik shot dead on Utoeya island said she felt "a little happiness" at the fact he was found to be sane.

Still, she said, she had wished he could have been sentenced to 21 years in prison for each of the 77 lives he took.

Others said Breivik the man had for some time now been irrelevant to them, and that the outcome of the trial could never bring their loved ones back.

Delivering the verdict, Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen said that the court considered Breivik to be suffering from "narcissistic personality characteristics" but not psychosis.

She imposed a sentence of "preventive detention", a special prison term for criminals considered dangerous to society.

She set the minimum length of imprisonment to 10 years.

Afterwards Breivik said he did not recognise the court, which he contended had "sided with the multicultural majority in parliament", but said he would not appeal as this would legitimise the proceedings.

Prosecutors - who had argued the defendant was insane - also said they would not challenge the verdict.

Some of the survivors and relatives of his victims welcomed the verdict and the end of the trial.

"Now we can have peace and quiet," Per Balch Soerensen, whose daughter was among those killed in the shootings on on Utoeya island, told Denmark's TV2.

"He doesn't mean anything to me; he is just air."

Court-appointed psychiatrists disagreed on Breivik's sanity. A first team which examined him declared him to be a paranoid schizophrenic, but the second found he was sane.

Norway 2011 attacks

Victims of the 22 July attacks in Norway
  • 8 people killed and 209 injured by bomb in Oslo
  • 69 people killed on Utoeya island, of them 34 aged between 14 and 17
  • 33 injured on Utoeya
  • Nearly 900 people affected by attacks

Before the verdict, Breivik said psychiatric care would be "worse than death".

He will serve his sentence at Oslo's high-security Ila Prison, where he has been held in isolation for most of the time since his arrest.

Initially he will be kept isolated from casual contact with other prisoners.

Breivik, 33, carried out the meticulously planned attack on 22 July 2011, wearing a fake police uniform, and methodically hunted down his victims.

He accused the governing Labour Party of promoting multiculturalism and endangering Norway's identity.

Some victims at the Labour Party youth camp on Utoeya island were shot in the head at point-blank range.

Ahead of the verdict, security barriers were put up outside the district court in Oslo.

A glass partition separated Breivik from relatives of victims in a courtroom custom-built for the trial.

Remote-controlled cameras filmed the proceedings, sending the images to courtrooms around Norway where other relatives could watch the hearing live.

Breivik's trial, which began in March and lasted for 10 weeks, heard graphic testimony from some of the survivors of his attacks.

Mohamad Hadi Hamed, 21, who is now in a wheelchair, told the court how his left arm and his left leg were amputated after he was shot by Breivik.

Another survivor, Einar Bardal, 17, described how he was trying to escape when he heard a loud bang, followed by a loud noise in his head.

Experts in far-right ideology told the trial Breivik's ideas should not be seen as the ramblings of a madman.

Breivik's attacks ignited a debate about the nature of tolerance and democracy in Norway.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    By saying a psychiatric hospital would be a fate worse than death, this murderer, let slip that was actually the cushy deal he wanted. I don't care if this post is removed but let's hope that now he's put in prison the other inmates find a way to get at him and that he's now living in fear.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    I have been to Norway many times and was at sea in my younger days with Norwegians. Theirs is a peaceful and tolerant country and proud of it. This verdict is as much about preserving a way of life as about dealing with an evil. I do not wish to express a view as to what is right or wrong here, it is not my country. But I admire the Norwegians for coming through this with their values intact.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    What's with the moderation Que, are we being censored before we even post now?

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    had a quick on look on the EDL/BNP facebook pages and they are showing there support for him. absolutely despicable. how would they feel if this terrorist killed there own family. deport these lunatics

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    To all who believe that Anders Behring Breivik only got 21 years in prison, then that is not correct. He gets 21 years in prison plus custody if the court considers it necessary.There will also allways be a price on his head. so in reality Anders Behring Breivik will never get out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    I'm from Norway,and I must say that some of this connents really pisses me off.We cant just change when he did this so we could punish him harder, what would that say about Norway.He will spend the rest off his life in prison, he wil die there. He will sitt there for 21years and every 5 years he will be seen as a danger to our society.

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    For those blamed America, if he did this in China, he would get death penalty verdict in less than one month and be executed very quickly. His organs would be sold out and transformed into money for Chinese communist party's government. Chinese communist party is willing to do anything to prevent their dictatorship's collapsing no matter how many people would be killed. US is certainly much better

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    I was just reading the Norway reacts page, and an interesting comment stood out at me. The 21 year sentence can be reviewed every 5 years and extended if need be. So it is highly likely he will never leave prison and I really doubt they'd let him out anyway.

    Still, no matter what the sentence is, it can never ever bring back those who were killed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    Re #144

    "US post 9/11 or Norway post Utoya?"

    Those responsible for organizing 9/11 slaughter are either dead (like Osama bin Laden) or in a military prison, also facing death penalty.

    Breivik, on the other hand may be free in 10 years and repeat his deed.

    And by getting a slap on the wrist, find quite a few followers.

    Your choice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    In fact it is true, 21 years is the maximum sentence the Norwegian legal system can sentence a person in prison however they also retain the power to keep him locked inside for an even longer period of time if the inmate represents a danger to society. Like some people have stated before, don't expect to see this monster get out of prison anytime soon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    A lot of confused people here!
    Its a MAXIMUM life sentance with a MINIMUM of 21 years. He will be reviewed after 21 years but lets face it he will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    Its still too good for him. I would prefer it if the survivers and families were given the chance to fire 77 tazers into him before being led into an appropriate victorian cell with no hot water

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    153. I hope your correct
    And I would welcome anything modern technology, science or medicine could do to make it even more unpleasant whilst he's in there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 160.

    A court of law has decided Anders Breivik is sane. Therefore his reasoning is rational. Yet the moderators refuse that reasoning to be mentioned. When people's views are suppressed violence always follows.

  • rate this

    Comment number 159.

    As a Brit who grew up in Norway and as someone who lost one of my childhood friends in the shooting, I understand the frustration around his scentence. But I also understand the Norwegian justice system. It's a picture of how Norwegians think. Although no one will ever forgive him, death penalty is the "easy" way out and it would be sinking to his level. Let's instead be happy he's locked away!

  • rate this

    Comment number 158.

    @133.beebalert I'm entertained by the folk who voted me @103 down. You're displaying precisely the emotional, logic fearing, debate evading behaviour that I was talking about.

    Nothing like a bit of racist xenophobic claptrap to get a good debate going.

  • rate this

    Comment number 157.

    Our legal system allows us to keep him in custody for 21 years, and keep him in continued custody for the rest of his life "to protect the society". One shouldn't focus too much on the formal time frame of 21 years. For all practical purposes, the risk of having him released from the maximum security prison where he is locked out, is close to zero.

  • rate this

    Comment number 156.

    @130. XajaKat

    I can accept that some are, but there are other comments like the conditions of incarceration and someone else mentions thoughts going out to the families, both valid points, yet both have been marked down...

    And some of those comments may have something we agree with and something we don't, and if that's the case, then leave the rating alone as a neutral.

  • rate this

    Comment number 155.

    In my opinion, that devilish guy should be executed immediately by firing squad. He killed 77 innocent people with their hopes & dreams, majority of them just about my age. It's also very bad seeing him with a laptop and TV inside his confinement.

  • rate this

    Comment number 154.

    21 years????? Not fair at all... anyway he is a terrorist

  • rate this

    Comment number 153.

    Norway has comported itself with dignity and respect in all aspects of this terrible tribulation and are a beacon to the world, in this regard. The convicted mass murderer returns to prison from which he will never be set free. Now begins his living death, in which his mind eventually is dissolved as a person other than as a mass murderer in such an exceptional country. Perhaps 50 years of it.


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