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Court extends Breivik's mental state evaluation

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik.

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik.

Published Oct 19, 2011


An Oslo court on Wednesday gave psychiatrists evaluating Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik's mental state another month to decide whether he can be held criminally accountable for the July 22 attacks.

Experts Synne Soerheim and Torgeir Husby had initially been given until November 1 to report their conclusions on Behring Breivik's mental state. but the defence and prosecution have agreed to a four-week delay, the court said, adding it would expect the report by November 30.

“This case is so big that we need more time,” Husby told AFP through a spokeswoman.

The two psychiatrists have been tasked with determining if the 32-year-old rightwing extremist, who has confessed to the twin attacks that killed 77 people, is psychotic or not.

Their conclusion will determine whether he can be sentenced to prison or will be locked up in a mental institution.

At the end of July, Behring Breivik's lawyer Geir Lippestad suggested his client was “insane,” something psychiatrists AFP has talked to disagree with.

According to Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, Soerheim and Husby have conducted 11 long interviews with the confessed killer.

On July 22, Behring Breivik, who claims to be on a “crusade” against Islam and multiculturalism, bombed government offices in Oslo, killing eight people, before going on a shooting rampage on Utoeya island, about 40 kilometres from the capital, where the ruling Labour Party's youth organisation was hosting a summer camp.

Sixty-nine people, most of them teenagers, were killed in the island massacre.

Although he has confessed to the facts, Behring Breivik has refused to plead guilty, insisting his actions were “atrocious but necessary.” - AFp

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