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 272.

    Insanity was the worse possible option for him so he seems to be happy with this decision. I just hope he serves the full 21 years in solitary and it gets increased by another 20 yrs!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    The people of Norway have truly conducted themselves with dignity. While we should never forget any tragedy or the lessons learned from it, I think it would now be best if we forget the name of the killer. We should not encourage anyone to behave as he did with the enticment of fame.

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    The very fact that this 'man' thinks that anyone actually cares that he doesn't accept the court's authority and jurisdiction says it all. He has a warped opinion of his own self-importance. He wants and needs the attention yet Norway itself and the victims' families have both been very dignified in how they've responded to this monster.

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    Twentyone years for killing seventyseven people? Old Nazis are being persued for killing a dozen Jews some 65 years ago and sentences of life imprisonment are being handed down even if they are 90 years old. What is Norway some sort of liberal Nirvana for psychopathic mass murderers? The problem isn't people like Breivik it's Norwegian society that's seems looney. Trial was a joke. Justice?

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    It matters not one jot whether he IS sane; the crime is not being committed in the present.

    Not that this should come as a surprise - having initially been considered schizophrenic, the Norwegian legal system had made clear that it would keep re-assessing him until he was no longer considered insane.

    Justice? State vengeance?

    Does it REALLY matter whether he is confined to prison or hospital?

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    We choose to promote love, democracy and toleranse, instead of bitterness and hatred.Is that so bad?Let us live and remember the dead. Let him be forgotten where he rots in jail.You may think we are crazy, but we are Norwegian and and we follow Norwegian laws and values. If we kill him, he gets an easy way out, and we sink down to his level!We fight against this hatred with love.Try to understand

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    Dear United Kingdom,

    We'll take advice from you on what to do with murderers when our rate of murders per 100,000 people is double yours as opposed to the other way around.

    Yours sincerely,


  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    Is he really insane?(although mine enlish lang. is poor).I think 21 years is not suitable for him, till his death or penalty,then only i think norewain people will able livein peace.

  • Comment number 264.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 263.

    This is a good reason to the Politicians improve .. a better police state ... step by step is what they are doing ... and they like a lot ... about that criminal well ... is just another one that deserves to die . But one thing is certain ... big brother is coming ... very fast ... more fast than people imagine ...

  • rate this

    Comment number 262.

    A very modest sentence for so grave a crime. OK, Norway is a liberal society that seeks to rehabiltate and understand criminals - but this sends a message that human lives are cheap for the Norwegian criminal justice system.

  • Comment number 261.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 260.

    255. the-moog

    Killing the spawn of liberals, so what?!? It usually doesn't trouble liberals when others are Victims, they even wax lyrical on terrorists!!! Hypocrites!!!
    What is wrong with you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 259.

    I am not convinced the said maximum sentence of 21 years is adequate. But even if breivik was sentenced for 100 years, it will not compensate for 77 young Norwegian lives.

  • rate this

    Comment number 258.

    'Sane'! What are they trying to say? That it is normal to go around shooting ethnic children? Of course he is insane, irrespective of any medical diagnosis.

  • rate this

    Comment number 257.

    256. Mark
    Genuinely interesting topic for HYS - well done Auntie Beeb for having some nuts for once.

    Sadly, this topic has already attracted plenty of nuts. The comment immediately below yours being a good example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 256.

    Genuinely interesting topic for HYS - well done Auntie Beeb for having some nuts for once.

  • Comment number 255.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this

    Comment number 254.

    The article states that the time in prison may be extended past the maximum of 21 years if he is still considered a threat to society. I would imagine that in crafting sentences, Norway never considered there would be a crime of this magnitude. I doubt whether this monster will ever get out. How could anyone justify his release at any time after such premeditated barbarity?

  • rate this

    Comment number 253.

    Well I think Norway have lost the plot a little like this country.77 people lost there lives that means all those youngsters mean nothing. This man should be doing 21 years for each victim. Shame on Norway for letting them down.


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