Psychiatrists monitoring Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is not psychotic, in contradiction to two court-appointed psychiatrists’ earlier assessment. Breivki has admitted to killing 77 people, many of them teenagers, in twin attacks on July 22, 2011 that were the worst act of violence in Norway since World War II; he has said that his violent acts were “atrocious but necessary for his campaign to defend Europe against a Muslim invasion,” says the BBC.
The earlier report by the two psychiatrists described Breivik as living in his “‘own delusional universe where all his thoughts and acts are guided by his delusions.’” But a team of four experts assessing Breivik in prison has reached a different conclusion, saying that they do not think he is psychotic or schizophrenic and that he does not need medication, and that he is not at risk for suicide.
On July 22, Breivik disguised himself as a police officer and set off a bomb near government offices in the capital of Oslo. Eight people were killed. He then went to the island of Utoeya, where a summer youth camp run by Norway’s ruling Labor party was being held, and shot 69 people.
Breivik’s trial is set for April 16 on terrorism charges. With the current evaluation of him as insane, he would be placed in a psychiatric facility rather than in prison.
The court will determine in the next few weeks whether Breivik should undergo a new psychiatric evaluation, though the Public Prosecutor, Svein Holden, has said that he will not call for a new assessment. According to the Independent, Holden fears that Breivik could ”manipulate new experts.” Brevik’s lawyers are opposed to such.
But John Arild Aasen, a lawyer representing three of the victims’ families, underscored the significance of the latest assessment, saying that “‘it indicates that there is considerable scientific controversy and the necessity for further investigations, obviously.’” Aasen said that his clients “‘biggest fear’” is that Breivik “‘will be out on the street again in a few years.’”
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