Norway’s mass murderer gets 21-year prison term
Anders Behring Breivik has been convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder for bomb and gun attacks that killed 77 people in Norway.
He has been sentenced to a special prison term that will allow authorities to keep him locked up for as long as he is considered dangerous.
Breivik, a self-styled anti-Muslim militant, looked pleased as Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen read the ruling on Friday morning, declaring him sane enough to be held criminally responsible for Norway’s worst peacetime attacks.
Going against the recommendation of prosecutors, who had asked for an insanity ruling, Arntzen imposed a sentence of “preventive detention”, a special prison term for criminals considered dangerous to society.
She set the minimum length of imprisonment to 10 years and the maximum at 21 years, the longest allowed under Norwegian law.
However, such sentences can be extended under Norwegian law as long as an inmate is considered dangerous.
Lawyers for the 33-year-old right-wing extremist said before the decision that Breivik would appeal any insanity ruling but accept a prison sentence.
Breivik admitted to killing 77 people in the July 2011 attacks that traumatised Norway and shocked the world.
Eight victims died in an Oslo blast and another 69 – most of them teenagers – were killed in a shooting rampage at a Labour Party summer youth camp on Utoeya island, near the capital.
Breivik, who was wearing a dark suit and sporting a thin beard, flashed a clenched-fist salute as he appeared in court to hear the judgment.