Europe

Anders Behring Breivik rules out verdict appeal

  • 24 August 2012
  • From the section Europe

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik says he will not appeal against a court ruling finding him sane and sentencing him to 21 years in jail.

He said appealing would legitimise the court, which he rejects.

Breivik admits killing 77 people in bomb and shooting attacks last year. He says this was necessary to prevent "Islamisation" and insists he is sane.

Prosecutors - who had sought an insanity ruling - also told the Oslo court they would not appeal.

Breivik said he did not recognise the court, which he contended had "sided with the multicultural majority in parliament", but added: "I cannot appeal against the judgement because by appealing I would legitimise the court."

He went on to say: "I wish to apologise to all militant nationalists in Norway and Europe for not managing to kill more people" - but was cut off by the judge, who said this was not the time to address people outside the court.

Conflicting opinions

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

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

However, the judge said the jail term could be prolonged at a later date if he is deemed to remain a danger to society.

She set the minimum length of imprisonment to 10 years.

Court-appointed psychiatrists had 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.

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.

"His goal was to be declared sane, so on that point he is satisfied," Breivik's defence lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said.

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

On 22 July 2011, Breivik bombed government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people.

Later in the day, he boarded a boat to the Utoeya island, where the Labour Party was holding a youth camp.

Wearing a fake police uniform, he fired weapons and meticulously hunted his victims. A further 69 people were killed and dozens wounded.

Many of the survivors and relatives of his victims welcomed the verdict.

"I am very relieved and happy about the outcome," Tore Sinding Bekkedal, who survived the Utoeya shooting, told the Associated Press news agency. "I believe he is mad, but it is political madness and not psychiatric madness."

Unni Espeland Marcussen, who lost her 16-year-old daughter Andrine at Utoeya, said: "I feel happiness because he is a man who all the time knew what he has done."

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