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Europe

Norway killer Breivik handed 21-year sentence

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-07-16

An Oslo court has handed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik a 21-year prison sentence. The hearing on Friday began with the court deeming the self-declared “Templar Knight”, who killed 77 people last July, sane.

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has been declared sane by a court in Oslo on Friday, ending speculation over the nature of his future incarceration.

Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in a bomb attack and a mass shooting at a political youth camp in July 2011, was handed a sentence of 21 years, Norway’s longest possible sentence, subject to extension if he is considered a danger to the public when he is due for release.

Breivik was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and declared criminally insane by a panel of psychologists in November 2011. A second independent assessment, however, found that he was legally sane.

The judgement will be a small victory for the perpetrator of Norway’s worst mass killing since the Second World War, who made a right-wing salute when his handcuffs were removed at the start of Friday’s hearing. 

Breivik was desperate to maintain status as legally sane, saying that a lifetime of psychiatric care would be a fate “worse than death”.

He had also said that he did not want his Islamophobic ideology to be considered the rantings of a lunatic.

The majority of Norwegians wanted to see Breivik go to prison, according to a survey conducted by national broadcaster NRK.

Most of the survivors and the families of the victims also wanted the court to rule that he was sane.

‘Cruel but necessary’

In the course of his 10-week trial, Breivik described in chilling detail the bombing outside Oslo’s main government building and his subsequent rampage at a summer camp of Norway’s left-wing ruling party on the island of Utoeya.

He said the killing spree in July 2011 was “cruel but necessary” to protect Norway from multiculturalism, which he said was endangering the country’s identity.

Breivik claimed he was targeting “cultural Marxists”, whose acceptance of immigration had led to the emergence of “Eurabia”.

The loner described himself as a “foot soldier” of the “Knights Templar”, a group that he claimed is a Europe-wide far-right underground movement, named after the medieval Christian military order that played a key role in the crusades.

Police have investigated the existence of such a group and believe it is probably a figment of his imagination.

Breivik told the court he had spent years planning the mass murder, buying a farm from where he prepared his bomb made of chemical fertiliser which killed 8 people in central Oslo.

Breivik said he spent most of his time during his lengthy preparation for the killings meditating, working out, taking steroids and playing violent video games to relax.

He also joined a shooting club and obtained a hunting licence for the assault rifle and 9mm pistol he used to systematically kill 69 people, mostly teenagers, while dressed as a policeman on the island of Utoeya.

His youngest victim was 14.

Breivik has confirmed that he will not appeal the verdict, according to his lawyer.

 

 

Date created : 2012-08-24

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