26 Apr 2012

Breivik disputes 'evil' diagnosis of insanity

11:17 am on 26 April 2012

The Norwegian on trial for killing 77 people in a bombing and shooting rampage has criticised psychiatrists who diagnosed him as psychotic, saying their report contains evil, fictional inventions.

Two court-appointed psychiatric teams have examined Anders Behring Breivik and come to opposite conclusions about his mental health. A five-judge trial panel will ultimately decide.

On the eighth day of his trial on murder and terrorism charges, he told the court the psychiatrists who found him psychotic were emotionally shaken by his acts and had decided at the outset to call him insane.

Their report, diagnosing Anders Breivik as a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from psychosis, was contradicted earlier this month by a second team of experts. Psychiatrist Agnar Aspaas said he and a colleague had found "no evidence" of psychosis.

The 33-year-old admits killing eight people with a car bomb at government offices in Oslo, then gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at an island summer camp of the ruling Labour Party last July.

He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he had the right to defend Norway and Europe against Muslim immigration.

If judged sane he could get 21 years in prison with possible extensions. Otherwise he is likely to be sentenced to indefinite psychiatric detention - a fate he has called "worse than death".