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Europe

Prosecutors push for Breivik insanity ruling

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-16

Norwegian prosecutors have requested that gunman Anders Behring Breivik be sent to a psychiatric ward, instead of prison, to undergo treatment. Breivik maintains he is sane and wants to be judged as such.

AFP - Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, should be locked up in a psychiatric ward instead of prison, the prosecution said Thursday, arguing his sanity had not been proven beyond reasonable doubt.

If the Oslo court judges instead conclude that the confessed killer is criminally sane, prosecutor Svein Holden asked that they sentence Breivik to Norway's maximum penalty of 21 years in prison, which can be extended for as long as he is considered a danger to society.

"Our request is that he be obliged to undergo psychiatric treatment" in a closed unit, Holden said, concluding the prosecution's three-hour closing arguments on the next to last day of the trial.

"If the court concludes ... that Breivik is responsible, the prosecution deems that the conditions have been fulfilled for prison" with a provision allowing the sentence to be extended, he added.

In such case, Holden said, "there is no doubt that Breivik must receive the harshest penalty: 21 years" with the extension provision.

Breivik, who is intent on being found sane to ensure his Islamophobic ideology is not written off as the ravings of a lunatic, was visibly annoyed by the prosecution's call for psychiatric treatment.

Following Holden's remarks, the 33-year-old right-wing extremist stood up and touched a clenched right fist to his chest before stretching his arm out in a nationalist salute he had made on the first days of his trial in April but had stopped doing at the request of his lawyers.

Date created : 2012-06-21

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