Norwegian prosecutors want Breivik declared insane

By Alex Veeneman on June 21, 2012

Anders Behring Breivik, who is on trial in Norwegian capital Oslo after the deaths of 77 people and the injuries of 242 people last July in the country.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user arto_k_thn)

Prosecutors in Norway have asked the judge in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik for Breivik to be declared insane, as his trial comes to a conclusion in the capital Oslo.

Delivering his closing argument, the prosecutor Svein Holden believes psychiatric treatment would be better than a jail sentence, but expressed some doubts. “We are not convinced that Breivik is legally insane but we are in doubt,” Holden said according to a report from the BBC. “So we request that he is transferred to compulsory psychiatric care.” The argument for the defense is to conclude June 22, and a verdict will be known in July or August, according to the BBC report. “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,” Holden said according to a report from The New York Times.

Last July, Breivik bombed government buildings in Oslo and then shot young supporters of the country’s Labour Party. 77 people died and 242 people had been injured. Breivik has gone on the record declaring he was not insane. He was charged in March with regards to the attacks.

However, a lawyer of the victims of the attack is advocating for the jail sentence. “They say they want this to be a correct judgment,” said Mettle Yvonne Larsen, according to the BBC. “They think that imprisonment would be a more justified outcome of what happened on 22 July.”

Psychiatrists in the country declared Breivik was insane last November. “If the final conclusion is that Breivik is insane, we will request that the court in the upcoming legal proceedings pass sentence by which Breivik is subjected to compulsory mental health care,” a prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh said according to the BBC.

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