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 232.

    I am amazed with the size and facilities he get in his prison cell, especially by what he has done.

  • rate this

    Comment number 231.

    198. FlorianitaSanMartin

    Norway has just become a laugingstock of the entire world
    No it hasn't, its a shining beacon.

  • rate this

    Comment number 230.

    Families have closure +1
    Norway's liberal credentials are intact +1
    It was so dignified +1
    Breivik has proven his point about liberalism +1
    Norway may have had a lesson in internal security +1
    Some people are dead -77

    Hopefully there's some maths you can follow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 229.

    The man is a monster. When you fight a monster you must take care not to become a monster. Norway has not fallen into that trap and has kept her dignity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 228.

    To all voting down comments about harsher treatment for killers, here’s a compromise.

    If someone murders your child and your happy for them to be punished with life imprisonment (will eventual parole meetings that resurrect the whole episode again) that’s fine.

    If someone kills my child, I want them to suffer the most horrendous punishment that can be invented for as long as possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 227.

    The sanity of Muslim terrorists is never questioned. Why was the sanity of this vicious fascist? Actually I don't consider him a fascist but if I state what ideology I consider him to be an adherent of, my post will be deleted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 226.

    At last justice for all those Breivik either killed or seriously injured, may their families feel that he will pay for what he did to their loved ones! 21 years in prison should open his eyes to the enormity of what he did, and hopefully make him realise that it wasn't a good idea in the first place. I can't say what I really wanted to happen to him as it wouldn't be published on the site!

  • rate this

    Comment number 225.

    Would you prefer that Norway went down the American route with 300 year sentences for murder and 50 years for shoplifting? These are just a numbers game with one politician trying to show they are "harder" than others. I know of nobody who has served their sentence in full! At least the Norway sentence is realistic in most cases - although this case is obviously the exception.

  • rate this

    Comment number 224.

    Anders Behring Breivik must die, there's no two ways about it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 223.

    Does the whole justice system of the western world need reminding "an eye for an eye" or in this case "life for a life" The whole principle of justice that requires punishment equal in kind to the offense. The principle is stated in the Book of Exodus as “Thou shalt give life for life, he should be put to death, this evil man would be no martyr.

  • rate this

    Comment number 222.

    205. powermeerkat
    "As you raised it, no, the USA doesn't look good in this context does it?"

    No, to Socialists and "useful idiots" (to use V. I. Lenin's expression)
    it most certainly doesn't.

    Most Americans arent losing sleep over decadent European countries begging for Sharia.

    Next time abused US cavalry will not come to your rescue.


    Too busy causing WW3 in the Middle East!

  • rate this

    Comment number 221.

    the man that open his eyes and kill 77people well the man is very dengerious to the community.this man is not crazy.if norway give him 21year imprison.some body we also do the same thing.this man deserve to die or life imprison.this is delibrete act.100percent he know what is doing.he can never never happen in nigeria

  • rate this

    Comment number 220.

    Pure Evil. I'm quite glad he got a sane verdict, now nobody can say it wasn't his fault. They should hang this terrorist upside down by his 'nads for the rest of his life, only letting him down for a daily beating. And i'm usually a liberal, hippy type...

  • rate this

    Comment number 219.

    It frankly doesn't matter if he truly is "sane" or not, because frankly a sane person would show remorse and suffering over doing something like this. The complete lack of empathy for other lives IS a sign of insanity.
    BUT, it's good he was declared "sane", because such an abomination of humanity does not deserve "treatment" in a cozy institution. He should be locked up until the end of time.

  • rate this

    Comment number 218.

    What some people are forgetting here when claiming this man is completely insane is that he believes he was doing something to make a difference. Now he may be (and in my opinion is) delusional about what he believes and what he perceives other to believe.
    But he was not hearing voices, he does not appear to be a paranoid schizophrenic or suffer any other condition. He made a judgement to hurt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 217.

    A society is not defined by how they treat their best, but by how they treat their worst. Norway has proven today that they are better than Anders Behring Breivik. The sentence will undoubtedly be extended until he is no longer a threat. Maybe once he is old and frail, he will be allowed to live his last years in freedom. That would be a true testament to the humanity of Norwegian justice system.

  • rate this

    Comment number 216.

    i always thought he was sane,

    no mad man would have done what he has done for the same reasons he did,
    he is one committed dude.
    i expect his book any time soon
    about his struggle

    i get a feeling of deja vu

  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    That people are complaining about the shortness of the sentence shows that they haven't actually read the full story, sure he's elegible for parole in 21 years but if it is decided he is still a threat then he will not be released. Does anyone seriously think he won't be considered a threat in 21 years?

    Furthermore, who the hell do you think you are telling Norway how to run it's courts?

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    @126.Tenny. He was defending his idea of what his country should be. Soldiers commit murder, just because it is solicited by the government does not change that.. And soldiers are not only employed to defend, do you think the SS's role under Nazi rule was only to defend? 'When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion"

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    There are so many comments with thumbs down because they read , "He should have been executed" or "21 years - not long enough." Why are these getting negative responses? That he's still alive truly is a disservice to the victims - or he should have 77 x 21 years imprisoned. I understand it's the best Norway could do, but still...
    But we'll never forget. And because of that, he'll never get out.


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