Monday 20 November 2017

Breivik: I will not appeal verdict if found sane

Kim Jensen in Oslo

The Norwegian right-wing extremist who has admitted to killing 77 people in a massacre last year said yesterday that he doesn't plan to appeal the verdict if an Oslo court deems him sane.

Two psychological examinations carried out before the 10-week trial started reached opposite conclusions on whether Anders Behring Breivik is psychotic -- the key issue to be resolved during the trial, which began in mid-April.

Breivik has confessed to the July 22 massacre when he gunned down 69 people at a youth retreat on Utoya island after setting off a bomb in central Oslo that killed eight others. But he denies criminal guilt for the rampage, saying the victims had betrayed their country by embracing immigration.

The self-styled anti-Muslim crusader has strongly contested the psychological evaluation that deemed him insane for fear it would undermine his ideological reasoning.

"If I'm found sane, I have no grounds to appeal," the 33-year-old suspect was cited as saying by broadcaster NRK at the end of yesterday's proceedings in the Oslo District Court.

His comments follow days of witness statements in court from survivors on Utoya who have given chilling accounts of how Breivik, dressed as a police officer, hunted them down one by one on the small island. Many of them said that Breivik smiled and let out victory cries as he gunned down his victims in the shooting spree.

Breivik denied that.

"It isn't correct that I smiled and laughed while I was on Utoya either," he told the court, adding that although he may have seemed emotionless in court, it was because he is good at hiding his emotions.

Injured

"Today, I feel almost injured on a mental level," after the witness statements, he said.

Breivik also said he was disappointed that he had not been given enough time to talk about his ideological convictions.

The judge had given him permission to address the court for 30 minutes in his defence during the second day of the trial in which he gave a rambling hour-long address, reading from a statement that summarised a 1,500-page anti-Islamic manifesto he posted online before his rampage.

He has also been denied permission to pose questions to witnesses.

If found guilty and sane, he would face 21 years in prison although he can be held longer if deemed a danger to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to compulsory psychiatric care.

The court case is expected to last until the end of June.

Irish Independent

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