Breivik deemed sane, prison now possible for Norwegian gunman
The second psychiatric evaluation of Anders Behring Breivik contradicted an earlier conclusion of paranoid schizophrenia, making prison time possible for killing 77 people last summer.
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The defense plans to argue Breivik is sane. He himself claims he is sane and condemned the first psychiatric report for lies and errors in a 38-page letter to select Norwegian media last week. He said he knew what was right and wrong, but that he “acted instinctively,” and that being declared insane was a “fate worse then death.”Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Norway vs. Breivik
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Breivik was “satisfied” with today’s report and said it was “as expected,” according to Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s defense attorney, after meeting with his client today in prison. Lippestad added his client felt it was important to be deemed sane so that his ideology would “stand stronger.” “Now we have an important argument for Breivik to be recognized as sane,” he said during a press conference outside Ila prison. “It would have been more difficult if the report concluded otherwise.”
Breivik bent on proving his sanity
Breivik’s defense team plans to call in more than 30 witnesses to prove his sanity, primarily through medical experts. It also plans to call in academic experts on extremists, as well as right-wing and Islamic extremists such as Mullah Krekar, the founder of terrorist organisation Ansar al Islam. The point is to prove that others who are not insane share Breivik’s extreme ideological thinking about the war between Islam and Christianity.
“The whole case boils down to the reality orientation that the accused has,” Mr. Lippestad recently told the members of the Norwegian Foreign Press Association. “It’s obvious he has a reality orientation that is especially unusual. There is no doubt about that. But is there nonetheless a little degree of reality in it? That is the question.”
Breivik has defended his acts that day as a “preventive attack on traitors” because the Labor-led coalition government was promoting the “Islamic colonization” of Norway. In his political manifesto, released online shortly before the killing spree, he describes himself as a Knight Templar in a crusade against the Islamic takeover of Europe.
Breivik is scheduled to give his opening testimony in the first five days of the trial, which will begin April 16. His defense team will present its evidence in June, followed by testimony from the forensic psychiatrics. The judges’ decision on Breivik’s sanity is expected sometime in July.
“If sane, the guilt is clear,” says Kristian Andenæes, a criminal law professor at the University of Oslo. “[The defense] then will only argue that there are some moments that are to his advantage. These arguments will not have any effect on the outcome of the trial.”
“The self-defense argument will be regarded as nonsense,” he added.
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