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Breivik Smiles As Prosecutors State Insanity Verdict

Breivik Smiles As Prosecutors State Insanity Verdict

In closing arguments after almost ten weeks of testimony, Norwegian prosecutors have requested that judges rule self-confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik insane, a verdict that would mean his compulsory confinement in psychiatric care rather than a 21-year prison sentence, with a provision to keep him longer if he were still considered dangerous.

As the BBC’s Lars Bevangar points out, “since the question of guilt is not an issue in this case, Breivik’s sanity has from the outset been the central question the court must answer.” Breivik has admitted to killing eight people with a bomb in central Oslo and shooting 69 more, mostly teenagers, of the Labour party’s youth wing on the island of Utøya, on July 22 of last year.

Two court-ordered psychiatric have resulted in contradictory conclusions about Brevik’s sanity. The first, submitted last November, found that he was psychotic and a paranoid schizophrenic. The second, submitted in April, said that he was narcissistic and had anti-social personality disorders but was sane at the time of the attacks and still criminally responsible.

Prosecutor Svein Holden told the court,

In our opinion, it is worse that a psychotic person is sentenced to preventative detention than a nonpsychotic person is sentenced to compulsory mental health care.

Prosecutors paid little heed to the second report in making their argument. The authors of the first psychiatric report had said that Breivik had suffered a “psychotic meltdown” in 2006 after losing money in a failed share deal, after which he moved back in with his mother in western Oslo and played an online video game, World of Warcraft, for 16 hours a day during his “martyrdom year.” After the breakdown, the report describes him as becoming “emotionally flattened” and that he believed himself to be a part of a pan-European militant network, The Knights Templar.

On Friday, Brevik’s defense will make what the Guardian says is an “obligatory demand” for his release. As the  Guardian points out, a jail sentence would actually allow him “to burnish his credentials as a political prisoner rather than be written off as a madman.” Breivik has insisted that he is sane and that he had acted in self-defense. He has justified his “operation” as necessary to stop the “Islamic colonization” of Europe by “cultural Marxists” and said that seeing Norway become a multicultural society led to him suffering.

After the prosecutors had read their statement, Breivik smiled and pumped his fist in the air before being led out of the courtroom. He had also smiled while Holden read his statement and shook his head. But, says the Guardian, his “bravado” disappeared when co-prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh “demolished his heroic interpretation of his own life since 2002, describing instead a ‘tragic person’ who had failed to become the success he thought he should be.”

Breivik’s trial has certainly not been without controversy and numerous observations about him have been made. In May, an unidentified friend testified that Breivik, at the time he moved back in with his mother, was “not as joyful, as vivacious” and believed that he may have been gay, says Pink News.

A Norwegian psychiatrist, Ulrik Fredrik Malt of the University of Oslo, has proposed that Breivik has Asperger’s Syndrome and Tourette’s Syndrome, and that he was “likely not psychotic.” Malt’s suggested diagnoses are based on observing Brevik; he suggested the diagnosis of Tourette’s as a reason for Breivik’s frequent inappropriate smiling during the trial. According to The Local, Breivik was displeased by Malt’s diagnosis of him, saying that “I want to congratulate Malt for a very good demolition of my personality.”

Judges will deliver their verdict in July or August.

Related Care2 Coverage

Breivik Turns His Trial Into a Platform For His Right-Wing Extremism

Norway Mass Murderer Not “Psychotic,” Say Psychiatrists

Facing Terror With Music: Norwegians Sing Song Breivik Hated (Video)

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Photo with Utøya Island in the background by lwpkommunikacio

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42 comments

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3:08PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

There are times when I wish I could believe in KARMA....this is one of them.

3:01PM PDT on Oct 15, 2012

Doesn't matter how you slice it... Ugly evil low-life creature. Sadly, he is not the only one. Horrible horrible tragedy.

11:38AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

I don't know what is sadder; this story or the fact that it had received 39 comments only (excluding mine)!

Had this article been about someone who killed 77 dogs, or about a homeless/neglected kitten, etc. it would have received over 200 comments (Of course I am more than happy for that), I just donno what is happening to people? Probably got fed up with each other too! After all Bravik is not a lonely man in this insane world!!

9:02AM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Sadly, there is actually evil here on earth........

7:30PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Wait, so even if he wasn't declared to be insane, he would only be jailed for 21 years? How is that more just than being sent to a mental hospital? Hopefully he never gets released from the mental institution. Actually, after being in one for a certain amount of time, chances are he'll actually go insane. He deserves that.

1:58PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

WELL THAT IS NOT SURPRISING HOW HE WILL LIVE OUT HIS SANE LIFE ENCOURAGING OTHERS IN HIS MINDSET.....

I THINK HE IS TOTALLY SANE....THE WORLD IS FULL OF INSANE PEOPLE...SAD DELUSIONAL MEDIUMS...SICK PEDOPHILE MEN...SICK KILLERS....BUT THIS MAN SEEMS TO BE SANE IRREGARDLESS OF HIS NAZI PERSUASIONS......

HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO KILL THESE PEOPLE NOT AT ALLL....THEY WERE POLITICAL YOUNG PEOPLE AND PROBABLY MISLED SOMEWHAT BY POLITICIANS AND THEIR PARTY....

HE IS AS SANE AS I AM IF I TOOK A GUN AND KILLED SOME DRUG ADDICT FOR ASSAULTING ME.

11:30AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Pure unadulterated evil.

4:22AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Sorry, but with or without psychiatric issues anyone who kills without remorse needs to be permanently incarcerated in some way. Why 21 years? Those kids lives were each worth what...3 or 4 months in jail? Most people with mental health issues aren't murderers. Those who are need to be taken out of society for the safety of all, along with anyone else who kills without conscience.

4:00AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

It doesn't matter to me as long as he is locked up for life.

3:27AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Breivik Smiles As Prosecutors State Insanity Verdict - thereby confirming the verdict!

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