25 Aug 2012

Breivik sentenced to 21 years in prison

7:18 am on 25 August 2012

A Norwegian court has ruled mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is sane, and has sentenced him to 21 years in prison.

Breivik admitted killing 77 people and wounding more than 240 others when he bombed central Oslo and then opened fire at an island youth camp last year. Eight died in Oslo and 69 on the island of Utoeya.

He insisted he was sane and refused to plead guilty, seeking to justify his attacks by saying they were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.

Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane.

Breivik, 33, carried out the meticulously planned attack on 22 July 2011, wearing a fake police uniform, and methodically hunted his victims.

The five judges were unanimous in ruling that Breivik was sane.

He was convicted of terrorism and premeditated murder, and given the maximum sentence of 21 years' imprisonment.

However, the BBC reports that can be prolonged at a later date if he is deemed to remain a danger to society.

Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen imposed a sentence of "preventive detention," a special prison term for criminals considered dangerous to society.

Before the verdict, Breivik said psychiatric care would be "worse than death".

The BBC reports he will serve his sentence at Ila Prison near Oslo, where he has been held in isolation for most of the time since his arrest. Initially he will be kept isolated from contact with other prisoners.

Breivik's trial began in March and lasted for 10 weeks. Prosecutors had called for him to be considered insane.

However, experts in far-right ideology told the trial Breivik's ideas should not be seen as the ramblings of a madman.