Norway killer Breivik`s trial ends, verdict on Aug 24

Breivik claims the attacks were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway.

Updated: Jun 22, 2012, 23:25 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Oslo: The trial of Anders Behring Breivik who massacred 77 people in Norway ended today. A day after prosecutors in Norway called for Anders Behring Breivik to be considered insane, the self-confessed mass killer justified the killings and demanded his acquittal.

The court will be announcing its judgement on August 24. The 33-year-old has admitted to killing eight people by bombing government buildings in Oslo, before killing 69 Labour Party supporters at an island camp. But Breivik claims the attacks were necessary to stop the "Islamisation" of Norway, the Telegraph reported.

The court has to make a decision on the basis of two contradictory official psychiatric reports -- the first of which diagnosed the killer as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, and the second said he was sane enough to face jail.

If the court decides he is sane, Breivik faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in jail.

"It is not violence which lies behind his acts, but political extremism," defence lawyer Geir Lippestad said.

He sought a "more lenient standard of proof on the question of sanity", as the case was "without precedent".

"The accused always benefits from reasonable doubt. When the accused wishes to be punished, then what?" he asked.

"If we consider basic human rights, beginning with the fact that the accused has a radical political project that makes his actions pathological, then we could deprive him of his basic human rights - the right to be responsible for one`s actions," the lawyer said.

Breivik described treatment in a mental hospital as "a fate worse than death" and "the ultimate humiliation".

Prosecutor Svein Holden has argued that there was enough doubt over whether Breivik was sane when he killed the 77 people, and that he could not recommend a prison sentence.

"It is worse that a psychotic be sentenced to custody than a non-psychotic is sentenced to psychiatric care," Holden told the court.

(With Agency inputs)