Jail Norway killer, don’t put him in mental care: Defence

June 22nd, 2012 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 22 (IANS) Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in two attacks in the capital Oslo last year, should be sent to prison and not face “compulsory mental health care”, his defence lawyer has said.

The 33-year-old has admitted to killing eight people by bombing government buildings in Oslo, before killing 69 Labour Party supporters at an island camp. But Breivik claims the attacks were necessary to stop the “Islamisation” of Norway, the Telegraph reported.

The defence’s closing argument Friday began the last session of the 10-week trial.

A panel of five judges at the Oslo district court will make its final ruling July 20 or Aug 24.

The court has to make a decision on the basis of two contradictory official psychiatric reports — the first of which diagnosed the killer as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and the second said he was sane enough to face jail.

If the court decides he is sane, Breivik faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in jail.

“It is not violence which lies behind his acts, but political extremism,” defence lawyer Geir Lippestad said.

He sought a “more lenient standard of proof on the question of sanity”, as the case was “without precedent”.

“The accused always benefits from reasonable doubt. When the accused wishes to be punished, then what?” he asked.

“If we consider basic human rights, beginning with the fact that the accused has a radical political project that makes his actions pathological, then we could deprive him of his basic human rights - the right to be responsible for one’s actions,” the lawyer said.

Breivik described treatment in a mental hospital as “a fate worse than death” and “the ultimate humiliation”.

Prosecutor Svein Holden has argued that there was enough doubt over whether Breivik was sane when he killed the 77 people, and that he could not recommend a prison sentence.

“It is worse that a psychotic be sentenced to custody than a non-psychotic is sentenced to psychiatric care,” Holden told the court.

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