Norway”s most notorious mass-murderer, Anders Behring Breivik, who confessed to killing 77 people this past summer, has been declared insane and suffering from paranoid schizophrenia according the findings of two psychiatrists who submitted a 240-page report to the prosecutor”s office today.
The assessment was made after 13 interviews with Breivik, an interview with his mother and an examination of his medical history. The experts also reviewed police questioning and video from the reconstruction of the shooting rampage on Utoya island.
Breivik, 32, has confessed to carrying out the July 22 twin attacks. First, he detonated a car bomb outside the government buildings in central Oslo that house the offices of Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, killing eight people. Then he went on a shooting spree at a youth camp on Utoya island, killing 69 mostly young people.
Breivik refused to plead guilty, saying that the attacks were “atrocious but necessary” in his campaign against multiculturalism and Muslims in Europe. In a manifesto posted on the Internet shortly before his killing spree, Breivik declared he wanted to protect Norway from what he said was the threat of Muslim immigration.
If the court accepts the psychiatrists” conclusions, Breivik would be held in a psychiatric institution rather than in a prison. Norwegian courts can challenge psychiatric evaluations or order new tests but rarely reject them. Breivik could be held as long as he poses a threat to society, but may be released if found to be healthy.
Even if Breivik were to be found sane and therefore fit to stand trial and subsequently be sentenced to prison, he would be a free man by the relatively young age of 53 as the maximum criminal sentence in Norway is 21 years.
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