Norway charges island shooter with terror | News | DW | 07.03.2012
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Norway charges island shooter with terror

The man who admitted to planting a bomb in Oslo and going on a deadly shooting rampage at a political youth camp in Norway has been charged under the country's terror laws, yet his psychiatric state is still in doubt.

Norwegian prosecutors on Wednesday indicted Anders Behring Breivik with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide for a bombing and shooting spree last July that killed 77 people.

State attorneys charged Breivik, 33, with using a provision under Norway's anti-terror laws that refer to violent acts committed with the intent to upset government functions or sow terror among the population.

Breivik admitted to planting the bomb at a government building in Oslo and to the shooting rampage on the nearby Utoya island, where the ruling Labor Party was hosting a summer camp for its youth organization. However he denies criminal guilt, saying the victims were "traitors" for supporting immigration policies that he sees as inviting "Muslim invasion" of the country.

Psychiatric state in question

The terror charges carry a maximum sentence of 21 years, however Breivik is currently undergoing a second court-mandated psychiatric analysis to determine if he is legally fit to stand trial. The first evaluation found him criminally insane, sparking a public outcry. Critics pointed to the years he spent planning the attacks and the stoic demeanor with which he carried out the shooting.

Regardless of how the psychiatrists rule on the state of his sanity, a trial is set to begin on April 16 and a judge is to rule on whether Breivik should go to prison or be involuntarily committed to psychiatric care.

Reading from the 19-page indictment, prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh said 34 of the victims at Utoya were between 14 and 17 years old, 28 were aged 18-25 and seven were older than 25. Eight of the victims died in the Oslo bombing, while 69 were killed in the shooting on July 22.

acb/pfd (AFP, AP)