Only a little over 12 months ago, Anders Behring Brejvik set off a car bomb in the Norwegian city of Oslo and killed eight people. He then proceeded to the nearby Utoya Island where young members of the Norwegian Labour Party were meeting as part of their annual summer camp. And he shot dead another 69 people with a semi-automatic weapon.
Today, a Norwegian court has found Brejvik guilty of the murder of 77 innocent people. The court ruled that Brejvik was sane at the time that he planned and executed the bombing attack; that he was sane when he shot those 69 young people – many of them just teenagers. This man knew exactly what he was doing.
After a 10-week-trial – where he showed absolutely no remorse – Brejvik has been sentenced to 21 years in prison.
The Guardian reports:
The mass-killer had desperately hoped the court would find him criminally culpable for the killings, claiming they were “cruel and necessary” to protect Norway from becoming overrun by Muslims.
After two months of deliberations, the five-judge panel told a packed Oslo courtroom that they considered the perpetrator of last year’s gun and bomb attacks, the worst in the country’s history, mentally fit enough to be held criminally responsible for the attacks, which also left 242 wounded…
Most Norwegians, including the victims’ families, had wanted Breivik to be found sane so he could be held accountable for what they view as a political crime.
The decision also means there will be no appeal, Breveik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad having promised the gunman will not contest a jail sentence.
Breivik has readily admitted to carrying out the twin attacks that shocked the famously peaceful country.
Despite being sentenced to only 21 years in prison, Breivik will almost certainly serve a life sentence. Norway’s law permits only for a maximum prison term of 21 years but their ‘preventative detention’ statutes mean that can be extended so long as the prisoner is still considered to be dangerous.
It still remains hard to comprehend.
77 lives and 21 years.
This man’s sentence reflects a term of less than 6 months for each of the young people whose lives he ended.
It’s difficult to know what to say. We’re at a loss. Over to you…