Attorney: Norwegian attacker "insane"

Other News Materials 26 July 2011 17:18 (UTC +04:00)
The Norwegian man charged with committing last week's terror acts in Norway that claimed 76 lives was likely "insane," his attorney said Tuesday.
Attorney: Norwegian attacker "insane"

The Norwegian man charged with committing last week's terror acts in Norway that claimed 76 lives was likely "insane," his attorney said Tuesday, dpa reported.

"The whole case indicates that he is insane," attorney Geir Lippestad told reporters.

Anders Behring Breivik, the man charged in last week's attacks, was remanded in custody Monday and is to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Breivik, 32, was charged with setting off a bomb in central Oslo on Friday that killed eight people, and shooting 68 people dead at a Labour party youth camp on Utoya island.

Breivik believed he was "at war", Lippestad said, and that this fact made him feel justified in his actions.

"He is in a war and the rest of the world doesn't understand his point of view, but in 60 years we will all understand him," Lippestad said of Breivik's response.

Prosecutors and police have earlier said Breivik appeared unmoved and showed no empathy with the victims during questioning or at the hearing that was held behind closed doors.

The court ruled he was to be in custody for eight weeks.

Lippestad said he had not discussed a possible plea of insanity with Breivik, but indicated he could drop the case if Breivik does not follow his advice.

Lippestad said it was "too early" to discuss his defence strategy, pending the outcome of the evaluation.

The prosecution said the acts constituted terrorism since they were aimed at instilling fear in the public at large.

Police and prosecution were also considering whether Breivik could be charged with crimes against humanity, prosecutor Christian Hatlo was quoted as telling Oslo daily Aftenposten. The maximum sentence for such crimes is a 30-year prison term.

Earlier Tuesday, Justice Minister Knut Storberget said the country was committed to "slowly but surely returning to normality" after meeting with Oslo police.

Police said they were continuing to search for people still unaccounted for and said the death toll of 76 could change.

Aftenposten reported that 57 of the 68 dead at Utoya were found on the island while 10 were found in the water near it or on the mainland. One of the wounded victims died in an Oslo hospital.

On Monday the country held a minute of silence and in the evening hundreds of thousands of Norwegians packed city centres across the country in a mass vigil the like of which has not been seen in the country since the end of World War II.

"This evening the streets are filled with love," Crown Prince Haakon said at the square in front of Oslo City Hall.