Mass Killer Undergoes Psychiatric Evaluation

Mass Killer Undergoes Psychiatric Evaluation

Published: November 30, 2011 (Issue # 1685)

OSLO, Norway — The forensic psychiatrists who evaluated the mental state of confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik handed over their assessment to a Norwegian court on Tuesday.

One of the psychiatrists, Torgeir Husby, told The Associated Press that the report draws a “clear conclusion” about Breivik’s mental health, but declined to give details.

The report will help determine whether the 32-year-old right-wing extremist can be held criminally liable for a bomb-and-shooting massacre in which 77 people were killed on July 22.

Key findings from the report were expected Tuesday evening.

Breivik has confessed to carrying out the attacks but denies criminal guilt, saying he’s a commander of a Norwegian resistance movement opposed to multiculturalism.

Investigators have found no sign of such a movement and say Breivik most likely plotted and carried out the attacks on his own.

The psychiatrists spent a total of 36 hours talking to Breivik and also watched recordings of police interrogations with him, Husby said, adding Breivik was cooperative.

The 243-page report will be reviewed by a panel from the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine, which could ask for additional information, Husby said.

The head of that panel told AP in July that it was unlikely that Breivik would be declared legally insane because the attacks were so carefully planned and executed.

In Norway, an insanity defense requires that a defendant be in a state of psychosis while committing the crime with which he or she is charged. That means the defendant has lost contact with reality to the point that he’s no longer in control of his own actions.

If tried and convicted of terrorism, Breivik will face up to 21 years in prison or an alternative custody arrangement that could keep him behind bars indefinitely.

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