Breivik LIVE BLOG 24.08.12

10.30am That’s it for now. Some thoughts, reaction and another Norway tracker later. Thank you for checking in.

10.01am The Daily Telegraph has a video of the moment the verdict was delivered in the courtroom.

9.54am New York Times reports Oslo University law professor, Alf Petter Hogberg, a professor of public and international law at Oslo University, who says he believes an appeal is imminent, whatever the verdict, with a hearing in the Norwegian High court likely as early as November.

“If the judges decide he is sane then I am sure the prosecutors will appeal. If there is a 5 percent doubt, then he should be considered insane. So they should appeal.”

9.46am The Guardian’s Mark Townsend reports that Breivik took stimulants to increase aggression during the attacks.





9.40am Sky News reporting on fears that there may be other members of a Breivik ‘cell’. The police strongly refute these fears.

The influence of the conspiratorial theory known as Eurabia on Breivik is mentioned in court. Eurabia is a conspiratorial islamaphobic theory that argues the exsistance of a conscious Islamic plan to take over Europe with the conscious collusion of Europe’s liberal, multicultural elite. The theory which heavily influenced Breivik is layed out in Bat Ye’or’s book “Land of the Dhimmitude: Eurabia”.

9.39am Some write-ups coming in now. Here is the BBC. And the Guardian is here. And the Daily Mail here.

9.31am NRK’s headline ‘Sane’ with a picture of a smirking Breivik. (via @robnisbetsky)

9.24am The influence of the Norwegian far-right blogger Fjordman (Peder Are Nostvold Jensen) is mentioned while discussing Breivik’s 1500 page manifesto.  The name of his manifesto ‘2083 Europe: A declaration of Independence’ is taken directly from a Fjordman essay of the same name.

A profile of Fjordman is here.

9.17am The extent of Breivik’s danger to society will be reassessed every three years according to Norwegian journalist Roar Dalmo Moltubak. The 21 year sentence can be extended by five years at a time reports Sky’s Trygve Sorvaag.

9.11am Sky News: “Breivik has been given word processor which he intends to use to continue to wage war and send out letters and to get that message out to fellow acolytes.”

9.09am The verdict that both Norwegians and the perpetrator wanted as the BBC’s Steve Rosenberg points out.

9.04am Anders Behring Breivik sentenced to 21 years in prison. He is found unanimously by the judges to be legally RESPONSIBLE. He is sane.

9.00am Verdict on legal responsibility coming up.

8.56am Anders Behring Breivik has arrived in court. Slight smile on his face.

8.30am Good morning. It is the morning of the verdict. The question is about the sanity of the man who committed horrendous acts of terrorism just over a year ago. Norway is clear: he is sane. 72% say yes as tweeted by Oliver Truc:

Breivik poll

Verdict is at 9am. We’ll keep you up to date with all the developments. Reuters meanwhile have a slideshow of the cell suite in which Breivik will spend at least two decades should he be adjudged ‘sane’.

It should be noted that the default verdict is ‘insane’ on the basis of the psychiatric evidence given by Synne Sørheim and Torgeir Husby. Despite more circumspect evidence provided by two further psychiatrists, Agnar Aspaas and Terje Tørrissen, the original evidence carries the greater weight. This is despite voluminous evidence provided by experts on far right violence attesting to possible ‘rationality’ of Breivik’s actions. There is a good write up by Simon Reid-Henry in the London Review of Books of this.

Breivik himself would like a ‘sane’ verdict of course. There are much greater issues at stake than Breivik’s wishes in this trial, however. The wider political and security ramifications in terms of understanding and monitoring the violent threat from the far-right vary with each verdict. If he is found sane, then we might see these atrocities as an aspect of a wider security threat. Should he be determined insane then yet again his actions may be seen as those of a ‘lone’ mad man. This verdict has enormous consequences not just in Norway but elsewhere too.

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