Experts: Norway mass murder suspect sane

Anders Behring Breivik was charged last month with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide.

Story highlights

  • Anders Behring Breivik was not psychotic at the time of the July killings, experts say
  • Breivik is accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage
  • "There is a high risk for repeated violent actions," the experts say
  • Breivik's trial is set to begin April 16

A man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer was sane at the time of the alleged crimes, two court-appointed psychiatric experts said in a report released Tuesday.

Anders Behring Breivik was charged last month with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide. He is accused of killing eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo, then going to Utoya Island outside the city and systematically gunning down 69 more people, many of them teens and young adults.

The mass killing on July 22 was the single largest loss of life in Norway since World War II.

Breivik has pleaded not guilty, though he has admitted carrying out the attacks, according to the judge handling his case previously.

In November, prosecutors said psychiatrists had determined Breivik was paranoid and schizophrenic at the time of the attacks and during 13 interviews experts conducted with him afterward.

However, the court sought a second opinion because of the importance of the question of sanity to Breivik's trial.

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The two psychiatric experts recommended he spend four weeks under 24-hour psychiatric monitoring, according to court documents released in February.

The Tuesday report said Breivik was not psychotic at the time of the crimes, does not suffer from a psychiatric condition and is not mentally challenged.

"There is a high risk for repeated violent actions," said the report from Terje Torrissen and Agnar Aspaas.

Breivik's trial is set for April 16 and is expected to last up to 10 weeks. If he is convicted, his punishment will be based on the determination of his sanity. It may not be possible for him to receive the maximum punishment if he is deemed insane.

Authorities have described Breivik as a right-wing Christian extremist. A 1,500-page manifesto attributed to him posted on the Internet is critical of Muslim immigration and European liberalism, including Norway's Labour Party.

Breivik showed some of his extremist views during a February hearing, which began with him entering court with a smile and offering up a raised, clenched-fist salute.

He insists nobody could believe that he was insane, and describes questions about his mental condition as ridiculous, his attorney, Geir Lippestad, has said.

Breivik claims the shooting rampage was a matter of self-defense, meant to save Norway from being taken over by multicultural forces and to prevent ethnic cleansing of Norwegians, Lippestad said.

The victims on Utoya Island were among 700 mostly young people attending a Labour Party camp.

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