Norway awaits Breivik verdict
A Norwegian court was Friday due to rule on whether self-confessed mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik is sane and should be convicted for killing 77 people in bomb and shooting attacks last year, DPA reported.
The anti-Muslim gunman faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in jail if found accountable for the worst acts of violence in the Scandinavian country since World War II. The penalty could be extended if he is deemed a danger to society. Should the court rules that Breivik is insane, he will be sent to a psychiatric clinic indefinitely.
The question of his sanity has been central to the 10-week trial, during which survivors and family and friends of the victims testified.
The massacre on July 22, 2011 shocked Norway's largely liberal society and sparked a national debate about right-wing extremism, freedom of speech and immigration.
Prosecutors have called for an insanity verdict to be delivered, while Breivik has argued that he would appeal such a ruling.
Court-appointed psychiatrists have reached different conclusions over the state of his mental health.
Breivik has pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and premeditated murder, arguing that his actions were in defence of his "ethnic group," threatened by Muslim immigrants.
During the 10-week trial, shocking details emerged on how Breivik shot dead 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya after setting off a bomb in the government quarters in Oslo that killed eight.