Bloomberg News

Norway’s Breivik Declared Insane, Faces Compulsory Treatment

November 29, 2011

(Updates with prosecutors’ comments from fourth paragraph.)

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Anders Behring Breivik was declared insane and may face life-long compulsory treatment for killing 77 people in the July 22 attacks on Oslo government offices and a Labor Party youth camp south of the Norwegian capital.

A court-ordered evaluation found Breivik is “delusional” and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, prosecutor Svein Holden said today at a press conference in Oslo, after being presented with the 243-page report by forensic psychiatrists Torgeir Husby and Synne Soerheim. The report was based on 13 talks with Breivik spanning 36 hours.

The evaluation, which will need approval by the Board of Forensic Medicine, may mean that the 32-year-old will be placed in compulsory psychiatric treatment, potentially for life, rather than prison. A trial will still be needed to establish guilt, prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh said at the briefing.

“As in any ordinary criminal proceedings, the court will have to assess whether Breivik has committed the criminal acts,” the prosecutors’ office said. “The only difference from the trial of a person of sound mind is that we can’t petition for an ordinary prison sentence or for preventive detention, but rather file a petition for his transfer to compulsory mental health care.”

‘Bizarre Delusions’

Breivik was psychotic at the time of the acts and during the evaluation, according to the report. It found that Breivik had “bizarre delusions” and that he claimed to have committed the murders out of “love for his people,” Holden said. Bejer Engh said prosecutors are “comfortable” with the evaluation. Compulsory care is reviewed by a court every three years to assess whether the convicted person still poses a threat.

The Oslo native has admitted to the shootings at the Utoeya Island youth camp that killed 69, including some as young as 14, and to detonating a car bomb by the prime ministers’ office that took eight lives. Breivik said that he sought to inflict the “greatest possible loss” to the ruling Labor Party and railed in a manifesto posted on the Internet against “cultural Marxism” and “Islamization.”

Earlier this month an Oslo court extended his custody by 12 weeks to Feb. 6 while restrictions on correspondence and visitors were prolonged by eight weeks. A ban on media was extended by four weeks. Breivik, calling himself a commander in the Norwegian resistance, has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court and has demanded to be released.

The judge denied a request at the time by Breivik to address survivors and relatives of the victims.

--Editor: Jonas Bergman, Tasneem Brogger

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Treloar at streloar1@bloomberg.net; Meera Bhatia at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net


Too Cool for Crisis Management
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus