Breivik and prosecution say they won′t appeal verdict | News | DW | 24.08.2012
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Breivik and prosecution say they won't appeal verdict

Convicted mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik has rejected a Norwegian court's verdict finding him guilty and legally sane, but also said he would not appeal. The prosecution also said it was happy with the ruling.

The 33-year-old far-right radical Breivik said that he did not plan to appeal his 21-year sentence, saying he thought this would lend legitimacy to the Oslo court.

"I do not recognize this court because you received your mandate from political parties that support multiculturalism," Breivik said when asked whether he would appeal by the presiding judge. "I would like to end with a statement of regret. I would like to apologize to all militant nationalists in Norway and in Europe for not having killed more people."

Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen cut off Breivik's microphone as he was in midflow, interrupting in order to rebuke him.

"This is not the point to address anyone outside this courtroom," Arntzen said. "You have to address me. I asked you a question. I interpret you as saying that you take time to consider …"

Breivik swiftly replied that he did not need time, conferred with his lawyer, and then said that he did not plan to challenge the verdict. That should signal the end of the trial, though the ruling is not considered legally binding until 14 days have passed.

Breivik had always admitted to detonating a bomb close to parliamentary buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to the island of Utoya where he shot a further 69 people at a summer youth camp organized by the governing Norwegian Labour Party. More than 200 people were injured in addition to the 77 who Breivik killed on June 22, 2011.

A Norwegian flag flying at half mast at the embassy in Berlin on the one-year anniversary of the attacks, June 22, 2012

The killings shocked a nation

Prosecutors similarly said on Friday that they would not appeal the court's verdict, although they lobbied in their closing statements for Breivik to be declared insane.

Criminally liable, motivated by politics

Judge Arntzen had ruled earlier on Friday that Breivik was legally sane, with his crimes and comments representing a warped political worldview, rather than psychotic delusions.

She said there was sufficient evidence to demonstrate "criminal sanity," contradicting the first of a pair of psychiatric reports on the mass-killer. The first investigators had said that the "intensity of [Breivik's] ideas can indicate delusions," a position Arntzen disputed.

"An alternative interpretation would be to understand his intensity as some sort of fanatical and rightwing extremist world view … with a grandiose and narcissistic personality," the judge said.

A 21-year sentence is the longest one that can be given under Norwegian law, but there are mechanisms in place that allow authorities to keep somebody detained indefinitely if they are considered a risk to the public.

Breivik will be kept in the highest security detention available, occupying a own small specially-built three-room wing in Ila prison on the outskirts of Oslo. He will have access to a small gym and a study with a word processor, while most inmates are able to move freely about the whole prison.

msh / rc (AFP, dpa, Reuters)