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Norway Killer Deemed Sane in Reversal of Mental Evaluation

Anders Behring Breivik was deemed to be sane in a second psychiatric evaluation of the self-confessed perpetrator of the July 22 hate killings that left 77 dead. Photographer:  Lise Aserud/AFP/Getty Images
Anders Behring Breivik was deemed to be sane in a second psychiatric evaluation of the self-confessed perpetrator of the July 22 hate killings that left 77 dead. Photographer: Lise Aserud/AFP/Getty Images

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- Anders Behring Breivik was deemed to be sane in a second psychiatric evaluation of the self-confessed perpetrator of the July 22 killings in Norway that left 77 dead.

The 33-year-old was found not to be psychotic and therefore accountable for his actions, according to a statement by the Oslo District Court. The evaluation, which will need to be validated by the Board of Forensic Medicine, is not binding for the court. The maximum prison sentence in Norway is 21 years.

Breivik “doesn’t have a serious mental illness involving significantly weakened capacity for realistic evaluation of his relations with the outside world,” according to the 310-page report by forensic psychiatrists Terje Toerrisen and Agnar Aspaas.

The assessment contradicts an evaluation from last year, which concluded that he was delusional and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, meaning he would face compulsory treatment, potentially for life, rather than prison. The decision sparked criticism from victims and caused the Oslo District Court in January to order a new assessment. The trial starts on April 16.

Breivik was “satisfied” with the report, his lawyer Geir Lippestad told reporters outside Ila prison in Oslo after meeting with his client. The trial will be “tough,” he said adding that Breivik doesn’t intend to express “regret.”

‘Ultimate Humiliation’

The Oslo native has admitted to the shootings at the Utoeya Island youth camp that killed 69, including some as young as 14, and to detonating a car bomb by the prime minister’s office that took eight lives. He was last month indicted on two terror charges as well as murder. A terror charge means there was a premeditated effort to cause fear in the public or a serious disruption to a vital function in society.

Breivik, in a letter to Norwegian media, called the previous evaluation that found him insane the “ultimate humiliation,” newspaper VG reported last week.

He has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court and demanded to be released. Breivik told the court in February that his victims were “traitors” who needed to be wiped out to protect Norway and that he deserved a medal for the attacks. He has railed against the “Islamization” and “cultural Marxism” in Norway.

To contact the reporter on this story: Josiane Kremer in Oslo at jkremer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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