Breivik to plead for his sanity in Oslo court
OSLO: Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in attacks in Norway last year, will seek to convince an Oslo court Wednesday that he is sane and should be sent to prison rather than psychiatric care.
The right-wing extremist wants to be found sane and accountable for his actions, so that his anti-Islam ideology will be taken seriously and not considered the ravings of a lunatic.
Breivik, 33, has already said that being sentenced to closed psychiatric care would be "worse than death".
A first psychiatric evaluation concluded that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, but a second opinion found him of sound mind.
On Wednesday, he was expected to challenge the first examination which he claims contains "more than 200 lies" and which issued a diagnosis he has called "the ultimate humiliation."
"I'm not a psychiatric case and I'm criminally sane" and accountable for the July 22 twin attacks, he told the Oslo district court on Friday.
Breivik has been charged with "acts of terror" and faces either 21 years in prison — a sentence that could be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society — or closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.
It will ultimately be up to the panel of judges to determine whether he is sane when they hand down their verdict in July.
The first diagnosis caused an uproar in Norway, where many were astounded that the man who methodically planned his attacks for years and then executed them with precision could be found not responsible for his actions.
The court therefore ordered a second opinion, conducted by Terje Toerrissen and Agnar Aspaas, who concluded that Breivik was sane.
A panel of experts charged with verifying the validity of the reports has however found weaknesses in the second evaluation and asked the authors to provide additional information.
Earlier this week, Breivik lamented in court that his sanity was being questioned.
He claimed to be the victim of "clear racism" and accused the prosecution of trying to "delegitimise" his Islamophobic ideology.
"If I had been a bearded Jihadi there would be no report at all... There would not be a need for a psychiatric evaluation," he said.
Breivik was to testify on Wednesday afternoon, following testimonies from people injured by the car bomb he parked at the foot of the 17-floor Oslo government tower.
The 950-kilo (2,100-pound) bomb, made from fertiliser, diesel and aluminium, killed eight people and injured nine others seriously.
Leaning on crutches, scars still visible on his arms, 26-year-old student Eivind Dahl Thoresen took the witness stand and told the court how he escaped death in the bombing after losing two litres of blood.
"I tried to stop the flow of blood with my hand, but the flow grew heavier. My blue jeans turned red, drenched in blood," he told the court.
"I try to think positively all the time, and I've learned to appreciate small things" in life, he said.
A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mette Yvonne Larsen, cried softly as she listened to Dahl Thoresen, while Breivik sat emotionless.
Breivik has said the bombing, and the later shooting of 69 people on Utoeya island, was "cruel but necessary" to stop the ruling Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.