Norway massacre trial draws to an end | News | DW | 21.06.2012
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Norway massacre trial draws to an end

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, is coming to an end. After 10 weeks of testimony prosecutors and the defense are making their closing arguments.

Anders Behring Breivik has admitted carrying out the massacre that left 77 people dead on July 22.

He set off a car bomb outside government buildings in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, killing eight people.

Then he travelled to Utoya Island, where he shot and killed another 69 people, mostly teenagers, who were attending a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labor Party's youth organization.

Thirty-three-year-old Breivik told the court his acts had been "cruel but necessary" to protect Norway from a wave of multiculturalism and a "Muslim invasion."

Throughout the trial, the main issue has been to determine whether the accused is sane or not. There have been two conflicting psychiatric evaluations.

Prosecutor Svein Holden said in his closing arguments that Breivik should be considered legally insane and be remanded to "compulsory mental health care."

If considered sane, Breivik faces a maximum prison sentence of 21 years, a jail term that can be extended as long as he is considered a threat to society.

If he is found criminally insane, he could spend the rest of his life in psychiatric care.

The trial will end on Friday with the defense lawyers' closing arguments. They are expected to call for Breivik to be acquitted, since, despite his confession, he has pleaded not guilty.

However, they could ask that he be found sane and sent to prison.

The judges are expected to announce their verdict later this summer.

rg/ncy (AP, AFP)