“The killing spree was a preventative attack against state traitors, who were guilty of ethnic cleansing because they supported a multicultural society.”
Anders Behring Breivik, BBC News Online, 16 April 2012
On Monday 16 April, Norway’s trial of the century begins in Oslo’s District Court. A newly constructed custom-made courtroom is specially created to hold everyone that will need to be involved. The trial’s main aim is to work out whether Breivik is criminally insane or mentally stable.
Breivik pleads not guilty to the two terrorism charges. He acknowledges he committed the acts but he does not accept the criminal responsibility. He also tells the judge that he doesn’t recognise the Norwegian courts as they’re supported by a government that encourages multiculturalism.
Breivik takes the stand and delivers a 13 page statement on his political views. He reveals that he belongs to the Knights Templar and acted to defend Norway against immigration and multiculturalism. The prosecution team led by Svein Holden reveals that investigators could find no evidence to support Breivik’s claims that a secret resistance movement called the Knights Templar existed. An initial psychiatric report finds Breivik criminally insane, which Breivik dismisses as a lie. A subsequent and later psychiatric report finds Breivik is mentally stable and accountable for his actions.
Details emerge that Breivik had initially wanted three car bombs, but plans had to be scaled back when he realised how difficult it would be to make them. He wanted to destroy the government and also behead the former Prime Minister who had been at Utoeya earlier on that July day. He offers an apology to the innocent people who just happened to be in the area when the Oslo bomb went off, but doesn’t apologise to the victims on Utoeya, who he claims are legitimate targets.
For Breivik the most important outcome for the trial would be that he is found to be mentally stable. He believes that if he’s committed to a psychiatric ward it would be a fate worse than death.
On 24 August 2012, the court declares Breivik to be sane and sentences him to 21 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed for the crimes he committed. This may be extended at a later date if Breivik is still considered to be a danger to society.