x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Norway killer found sane in new examination ahead of trial

The report came six days before Anders Behring Breivik is scheduled to go on trial on terror charges for the massacre on July 22, and could prompt prosecutors to seek a prison sentence instead of compulsory commitment to psychiatric care.

OSLO // The right-wing extremist who confessed to killing 77 people in a bomb and shooting rampage in Norway is not criminally insane, a psychiatric assessment found yesterday, contradicting an earlier examination.

The report came six days before Anders Behring Breivik is scheduled to go on trial on terror charges for the massacre on July 22, and could prompt prosecutors to seek a prison sentence instead of compulsory commitment to psychiatric care.

It conflicts with an earlier assessment, which found Mr Breivik psychotic both during and after the attacks, and diagnosed him as a paranoid schizophrenic.

The court will take both psychiatric assessments into account during the trial, which starts on Monday and is scheduled to last 10 weeks.

The new assessment was made by psychiatrists Terje Toerrissen and Agnar Aspaas on a request from the court after widespread criticism against the first diagnosis.

"Our conclusion is that he is not psychotic at the time of the actions of terrorism and he is not psychotic now," Mr Toerrissen said.

The full report was confidential and the psychiatrists declined to give details on why they reached a different conclusion than the first team of experts that examined Mr Breivik. They said they will present their reasoning when they testify in the trial.

Mr Breivik has confessed to setting off the bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight, and opening fire at a youth camp outside the Norwegian capital, killing 69. But he denies criminal guilt, saying the attacks were necessary in what he calls a civil war against Islam in Europe.