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Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court room 250 at Oslo central court. — AFP Photo
Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court room 250 at Oslo central court. — AFP Photo

OSLO: An Oslo court on Friday found Anders Behring Breivik guilty of “acts of terror” and sentenced him to 21 years in prison for his killing spree last year that left 77 people dead.

The five judges unanimously found Breivik sane, a verdict in line with what the far-right extremist himself wanted, bringing to an end a spectacular trial for the attacks that traumatised normally tranquil Norway and shocked the world.

Breivik killed eight people in an Oslo blast and took 69 more lives, mostly teenagers', in a shooting frenzy at an island summer camp on July 22, 2011.

“The ruling is unanimous,” presiding judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen told the court. “He is sentenced to prison for 21 years, with a minimum of 10 years,” she added. Under Norwegian law the sentence could be extended.

Breivik, wearing a dark suit with a white shirt and a grey tie, smiled as the verdict was read out in court.

Survivors of the Utoeya island massacre took to Twitter immediately to comment on the sentencing, with Emma Martinovic tweeting: “YEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!”And Viljar Hansse, who took a bullet to the head in the massacre, tweeted: “Finished. Period.”

Breivik has previously said he would not appeal a prison sentence, as he wanted to be found sane so his Islamophobic ideology would not be considered the rantings of a lunatic.

Norway's penal code does not have the death penalty or life in prison, and the maximum prison term for Breivik's charges is 21 years. However, inmates who after that are still considered a threat to society can be held indefinitely.

The 33-year-old loner, who made a right-wing salute in court after his handcuffs were taken off, had confessed to the attacks, seeing himself as a Nordic warrior against Europe's “Muslim invasion” and against all those who promote multiculturalism.

The main question the court had to determine was whether he was sane and could be held responsible for his actions.

Ironically, the prison sentence is what Breivik, most of the families of the victims had wanted, and the general public in Norway wanted.

But Prosecutor Svein Holden had called for him to be sentenced to closed psychiatric care, arguing that “it would be worse to sentence someone who is psychotic to prison than to send someone who is not psychotic to psychiatric care.”

Breivik, who laid out his hateful world view in a rambling 1,500-page online manifesto, was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and declared criminally insane after his bloody rampage on July 22, 2011.

However, a public outcry led to a second assessment which found him legally sane — a view shared by most Norwegians in polls, and by Breivik himself who has said he would accept prison but appeal against closed psychiatric treatment.

Prosecutor Svein Holden, who wants Breivik to be found criminally insane, has said that “it would be worse to sentence someone who is psychotic to prison than to send someone who is not psychotic to psychiatric care.”

Breivik hopes to speak again on the final day of his trial, at which Norway has gone to great lengths to stress its free and fair judicial process.

In previous testimony during the 10-week trial that ran until June, Breivik laid out in chilling detail what motivated him to meticulously plan for years and then execute Norway's worst massacre since World War II.

Breivik has called himself a “foot soldier” for the 'Knights Templar', allegedly a clandestine ultra-right group named after an order of Christian Crusaders of the Middle Ages. Police doubt the group's existence.

He has also railed against “cultural Marxists” whose support for immigration he blames for the emergence of a “Eurabia”, the reason why he targeted the centre-left government and a summer youth camp run by the Labour Party.

The court heard how Breivik spent years planning the bloodbath, using a farm as cover for purchasing the chemical fertilizer he used for the almost one-tonne bomb he set off in a rented van outside Oslo's main government building.

In his years of seclusion, Breivik said he practised meditation, worked out and used steroids to steel his mind and body, while playing video shooting- and role-playing games for relaxation.

He joined a pistol club and obtained a hunting licence to get the 9mm Glock handgun and Ruger semi-automatic rifle which he used to mow down terrified young people, the youngest just 14, trapped on the tiny lake island of Utoeya.

Dressed in a police uniform, he methodically shot dead 67 people, many at point blank range, and two more died as they fell to their deaths or drowned while trying to escape the more than hour-long shooting spree.

During his trial Breivik showed little emotion and no remorse and once described his mass slaughter as “cruel but necessary” to protect Norway from multiculturalism. At one stage he told the court: “I would do it again.”

Comments (16) Closed

Iqbal Aug 25, 2012 09:14pm
This paper has stated the fact you mentioned... but again.. is there any shade of doubt that it is against public interest to free him.. ever...
Chris Aug 25, 2012 01:31pm
As no one here has looked in Norwegian would realize he will likely never get out. After 21 years if it is deemed against public interest the law states he can be held indefinitely which is what the courts have stated will likely happen. The international papers are spinning the story to stir up interest and debate by leaving out that part. It's the same in Canada where the worse you can get for murder is 25 years, however if you are deemed dangerous you can be held indefinitely.
Jamshed Khan Aug 25, 2012 07:33am
Great justice - a few months for killing each person; only 21 years for killing 77 people; mild to say the least. He's got a good deal and this will probably trigger more similar attacks in Europe. Europe can't be proud of their justice system.
ishaq Aug 24, 2012 10:19am
This is western justice what a joke 3 months for a 1 human life,its disgusting this evil person shouldn't see the light of day till his last breath ,what a shame and they call themselves a civilised society it makes me sick
Iqbal Aug 24, 2012 09:49am
Although Mr. Breivik insisted and admitted that he was part of a group, the Honorable Court and the Law Enforcement agencies insisted that he was a "loner".... Justice?
andleeb Aug 24, 2012 09:33am
Breivik would be showered with rose petals and our lawyers would be kissing his feet if he was in Pakistan. I feel sorry for him. He is as great a man as Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri. What a sick nation we have become. What a shameless society of barbarians we are.
Mohammad Aug 24, 2012 09:24am
Capital punishment should be re-introduced in Europe for criminals like these...........
Usman Yousaf Virk Aug 24, 2012 09:23am
and even when he said infront of the judges that,
Talk4real Aug 24, 2012 09:01am
Only 21 years....for killing 77 people....risible indeed!
Amir Saeed Aug 24, 2012 12:37pm
Agreed. Both Qadri and Brevik are in the same league. He is unlucky to have been born in Norway.
Ahmed Shah Masood Aug 24, 2012 05:44pm
Mr. Khan: Mr. Taseer was murdered on the street without a trial ... in case you did not know...
khan Aug 24, 2012 11:16am
MS andleeb! i wanna ask a question if you are muslim. As being the ummti of Holy prophet(PBUH) we need to be sentimental about the honour of our prophet PBUH. if this is not the case, it casts doubts about us as being the muslim.Mr Taseer was regarding the law of "namoos-e-resalat" as "kala qanoon".He has got a minimum punishment for what he did. This can only be understood if you are emotional as being muslim.
Saima Aug 24, 2012 12:35pm
Without a trial and a witness no one has the right to take any individuals life.As in Islam it is said who ever takes life of a single being than you have taken life of the entire humanity. Nothing more to say..................
salaar Aug 24, 2012 12:26pm
You can be sure that this guy will be out again in ten years, because most Norwegians are also like him, i.e. they don't like anyone who is non-white, non-Christian, and left-wing.
Zen Aug 24, 2012 12:27pm
That is by far the dumbest thing I've heard today. Taseer was free to call the blasphemy law whatever he wanted, because he was not breaking the law itself, he was debating its legality in a modern Pakistani society, where it was being abused to hurt minorities. Political Islam is a man-made ideology, and the Prophet (pbuh) certainly did not device a set of rules to protect his "honour". If being "emotional" as a muslim means having no respect for your national laws, humanity and taking it upon yourself to deal justice to someone who Allah (and Allah only) is to judge on the day of Reckoning, then being an "emotional" muslim is the same as being an infidel isn't it? In conclusion; your opinion is part of the problem, SIR.
maddy Aug 24, 2012 02:11pm
kill 77 people and be out in a max of 21 years? haha what a joke. shows how "VALUABLE" human life really is eh...