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 512.

    Lots of comments censured here.
    What we have is a mass murderer, so let's look after him and analyse our own psyches eh?

  • rate this

    Comment number 511.

    Do I want my nation dictated to by Islamic fundementalists? No.
    Is there are threat of that? Marginally.
    Do I thus need the likes of Breivik to act on my behalf? Absolutely not.
    Are western governments addressing the problem? No,theyre making it worse but killing 70 odd people doesn't make it better.
    The answer? Ah,now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 510.

    A man who kills a few dozen and is honest about it is a cowardly madman.

    A man who kills tens of thousands for "freedom and democracy" retires to a life of luxury and adoration.

    The lesson to the killer is not to stop killing, but to make sure you kill on a large enough scale that the sheer horror is too much for people to accept what's going on, let alone take action to stop it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 509.

    492.Scott -

    "It's easy for Europeans to oppose the death penalty because their countries have less murders...

    But in the US, there are between 16,000 to 20,000 murders every year. Most US cities have 20x the murder rate of any European city."

    So don't you think therefore that the death penalty doesn't work?
    Correlation (+ or -) doesn’t equal causality.

  • Comment number 508.

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

  • Comment number 507.

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

  • Comment number 506.

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

  • Comment number 505.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 504.

    I hope now that this narcissistic and psychotic individual will now not receive publicity and we focus on the dignity and courage of survivors, family and friends. the worst punishment he could receive apart from incarceration would be to know of the contempt and scorn in which he is held and how pathetic and unimaginative his so called opinions really are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 503.

    Michael, sorry man, but introducing yourself as a 'Libertarian'?
    Libertarianism refers to the group of political philosophies that emphasize freedom, liberty, and voluntary association without violent coercion.
    Yep. your post ticks the first few by allowing you to post it, but I think the death penalty is pretty violent, if not just a little final, don't you?

  • rate this

    Comment number 502.

    This was the only out they have, using their legislation and ensuring that he never gets out.
    He is insane but insisting on being judged sane at the time of the deed, and he will spend the rest of his life doing that, near the end of his sentence, he will be re-sentenced to another 21y. over and over, because as a 'sane' person he is a threat to society! And saving costs containing this monster!

  • Comment number 501.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 500.

    BBC - "Anders Behring Breivik: Norway court finds him sane"

    477.bbcid001 - USA have the death penalty for monsters like this guy... this madman...
    476.Scott - Lets face it, the guy is a nut job.
    447.An Eton Mess - It's obvious to anyone the bloke's a nut-job...

    Obviously the court was wrong?

  • rate this

    Comment number 499.

    Norway has handled this with great dignity. Breivik doesn't deserve an audience, no doubt he will be locked away on his own, and the key will be quietly mis-placed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 498.

    I hope his name is soon forgotten and people focus on supporting the victim's families and the survivors. I'm shocked by the sentence, but even if he was given a whole of life tariff, it wouldn't bring anyone back..

  • rate this

    Comment number 497.

    Give him 6 months to meet other prisoners and get comfortable, then WHACK - one of them takes him out, hopefully in some vaguely horrible way, like with a blunt knife to his throat

  • rate this

    Comment number 496.

    What Breivik has done in fact, is shine a very warped, extreme light on the private views on creeping multiculturalism shared by millions of Europeans. Many people of all races and creeds in the UK despise political correctness and the so called liberal elite, who patronise them for wanting to follow a traditional western way of life. No one I know, from many ethnic backgrounds wants radical islam

  • rate this

    Comment number 495.


    The US executes people with learning difficulties; they also use flawed IQ tests to determine whether or not a person should be on Death Row (never mind all those who spend decades on Death Row waiting to die!). Really, they are in no position to lecture anyone in regards to justice and the use of capital punishment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 494.

    482. Michael_USA, if your death penalty is supposed to be a deterrent, then it's clearly not working. However, if it's simply about wiping the scumbags off the face of the earth, then you're not showing any interest in stopping the murders in the first place. Could it be there are so many murders because US society views life as cheap, a view fuelled by things like, let's see, the death penalty?

  • rate this

    Comment number 493.

    He's someone,
    Give him credit.


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