Anders Behring Breivik trial hears closing statements Link to this video: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2 ... rial-video
Norway is facing the prospect that Anders Behring Breivik could evade prison and live out his days in a specially constructed hospital after prosecutors asked judges in Oslo to rule him insane.
However, Breivik, who admits killing eight people in a bomb blast in the centre of Oslo before driving to nearby island Utøya and slaughtering 69 more, mostly teenage members of the Labour party youth wing, wants to be found sane.
If he gets his way he can be sentenced to 21 years in prison, with a provision to keep him longer if still considered dangerous. Crucially for Breivik, who claims to be part of a pan-European rightwing terror network called The Knights Templar, a jail sentence would also allow him to burnish his credentials as a political prisoner rather than be written off as a madman.
The self-styled anti-Islamic militant said his victims were legitimate targets in his battle against the "cultural-Marxists" encouraging an Islamic colonisation of Europe.
Two court-ordered psychiatric reports commissioned since he carried out the attacks on 22 July last year have reached contradictory conclusions on his sanity. The first concluded he was a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic, the second that he had narcissistic and anti-social personality disorders but was criminally responsible.
State attorney Svein Holden said any doubt must favour an insanity judgement. "In our opinion it is worse that a psychotic person is sentenced to preventative detention than a non-psychotic person is sentenced to compulsory mental healthcare," he said. The wishes of the defendant were an irrelevance.
Holden and co-prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh relied heavily on evidence from the first report, which concluded Breivik was a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic, based on observations of paranoid delusions, a withdrawal from social interaction in 2006, and his use of neologisms to describe his deluded thoughts.
Quoting from the report, Holden said the basis of their assessment was structured around the core delusion that: "He believes he is going to save us all from doom in the fight between good and evil. In this fight he believes he has the responsibility to say who will live and who will die. This responsibility is rooted in a senior position in a non-existent organisation."
On Friday Breivik's defence team will make an obligatory demand for his release.
"We understand the wider picture around this case," said Vibeka Hein Baera, one of Breivik's defence attorneys. She also admitted that Breivik was putting pressure on the team to prove he had no personality disorders but said they would focus on proving his criminal responsibility.
As he was led away the defendant issued his closed fist salute for the first time since the first week of this trial. He also smiled throughout Holden's closing statements and shook his head.
Breivik's bravado deserted him earlier in the day though as Engh demolished his heroic interpretation of his own life since 2002, describing instead a "tragic person" who had failed to become the success he thought he should be