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Norway bow-and-arrow attacker handed over to health services, prosecution says

A judge was to decide later today whether to hold Brathen in detention.

Police investigating following the incident in Kongsberg, Norway
Police investigating following the incident in Kongsberg, Norway
Image: Håkon Mosvold Larsen via PA Images

THE MAN WHO killed five people in a bow-and-arrow attack in Norway this week has been handed over to health services, the prosecution has said, amid speculation he may have mental health issues.

“He was handed over to health services on Thursday evening after an evaluation of his health condition,” prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen told AFP.

Doubts have arisen about the mental health of the man identified as Danish citizen Espen Andersen Brathen, and whether he can be held legally responsible for the attack.

He has confessed to the killings.

A psychiatric evaluation began yesterday, which was expected to take up to several months.

Meanwhile, a judge was to decide later today whether to hold Brathen in detention. The prosecution has asked for him to be held for four weeks, the first two in isolation.

If the judge grants the prosecution’s request, he would not be jailed but rather held in medical care, the prosecutor said.

While police have said the attack was probably an act of terror, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of mental health problems.

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“There is no doubt that the actual act appears as if it could be an act of terror, but it’s important that the investigation continues and that we establish the motive of the suspect,” the head of Norway’s intelligence service PST, Hans Sverre Sjovold, told a news conference on Thursday.

“This is a person who has been in and out of the health system for some time,” Sjovold said.

© – AFP, 2021

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