A question of sanity in the trial of Norwegian killer Breivik
Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 02:09
April 15 - The trial of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last summer, begins on Monday. The admitted killer's sentence could depend on whether a panel of judges decides he is sane or psychotic. Katharine Jackson reports.
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A team of psychiatrists in Norway announces their conclusion: Anders Behring Breivik was sane when he killed 77 people last summer.
(SOUNDBITE) (Norwegian) PSYCHIATRIST AND REPORT AUTHOR AGNAR ASPAAS SAYING:
"We found the defendant was not psychotic at the time the crimes were perpetrated. We have no reason to comment further on the content as it is secret. And it is now up to the court to evaluate the report further."
A prior report determined Breivik to be a psychotic who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
If found guilty, Breivik's sentencing - to prison or a psychiatric hospital - will likely hinge on whether a panel of judges decides he is sane or psychotic.
He faces a maximum 21-year prison sentence, but could be held indefinitely if considered a continuing danger. If declared insane, he would be held in a psychiatric institution indefinitely with periodic review.
Breivik has admitted he set off a bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo on July 22, then massacred 69 people with gunfire at a Labour Party summer camp, where most victims were teenagers.
The 33-year old has said he wants the attacks to be considered a political act designed to punish pro-immigration factions in Norway.
Breivik's lawyer briefed his client on the most recent report in the jail where he awaits trial.
(SOUNDBITE) (Norwegian) BREIVIK'S LAWYER GEIR LIPPESTAD SAYING:
"His first comment was that he was satisfied with the conclusion that the two psychiatrists had found. He agrees with them that he is mentally sane."
A day away from the trial's start, the courthouse in central Oslo is crowded with TV trucks representing some of the nearly 200 media organizations on site to cover the trial.
A verdict on terrorism and murder charges is expected by July 20.
Katharine Jackson, Reuters.
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