17 Aug 2012

Resignation of police chief announced in Norway

1:27 pm on 17 August 2012

Norway's police chief Oeystein Maeland has resigned after an inquiry found that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik could have been stopped.

Mr Maeland took up his post days before Breivik murdered 77 people in Oslo and at a summer camp on Utoeya Island on 22 July last year.

An independent report said on Monday the bombing could have been prevented. It also criticised the amount of time which police took to respond to the shootings.

The BBC reports the tone of the inquiry was also markedly different from an earlier police report which concluded that none of the officers on duty had hesitated in carrying out their duties.

The resignation of Mr Maeland was revealed by Justice Minister Grete Faremo during a TV debate on Thursday.

Mr Maeland said later that he could no longer continue in the job without the minister's confidence.

Breivik, 33, admits carrying out the murders, but denies criminal guilt.

His trial ended in June after 10 weeks and a verdict is due to be announced on 24 August.