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Anders Behring Breivik in court last month.
Anders Behring Breivik in court last month.
Image: AP Photo/Heiko Junge, Scanpix Norway/PA Images

Norway formally charges Anders Behring Breivik with terror offences

The man who admitted carrying out two deadly attacks in July is due to go on trial next month.
Mar 7th 2012, 4:21 PM 2,370 13

THE MAN ACCUSED of carrying out two attacks in Norway last July in which 77 people were killed has been formally charged with terrorism offences by Norwegian authorities.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has admitted carrying out the bomb attack in Oslo and mass shooting on Utoya Island, but denies responsibility for the attacks.

He claims he is part of a militant organising aiming to reverse multiculturalism across Europe and block the Islamic “colonisation” of Norway. Appearing in court last month, Breivik said he believed he deserved a medal for his actions and should be released.

Police have said they haven’t found any evidence of a wider organisation and believe Brievik acted alone in the attacks.

His trial is due to begin on 16 April.

A psychiatric evaluation carried out on the orders of a Norwegian court reported that Breivik was insane at the time of the attacks and should be sent to a psychiatric facility instead of to prison. However, the court later ordered further tests be carried out after independent experts questioned whether somebody so ill could have actually carried out the attacks. Those tests are underway.

Today Breivik was formally charged under Norwegian anti-terrorism laws concerned violent acts which are intended to disrupt key government functions or spread fear among the population.

A police spokesperson said that Breivik remained “totally calm” while the charges were read out.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 21 years in prison, but prosecutors have indicated that they believe he is mentally ill and will seek involuntary commitment to psychiatric care.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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Susan Ryan

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