Saturday. 26.11.2022
TERRORISM

Norwegian court weighs mass killer Breivik's application for release

The public prosecutor's office is seeking to keep him behind bars, and it is considered highly likely that the court will agree

21 July 2021, Norway, Utoya: (L-R) Astrid Hoem, chairwoman of AUF, Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister of Sweden, and Jonas Gahr Store, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party, lay flowers at the Utoya memorial during a ceremony held a day before the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Norway terror attacks. Photo: Beate Oma Dahle/NTB/dpa.
(L-R) Astrid Hoem, chairwoman of AUF, Stefan Lofven, then Prime Minister of Sweden, and Jonas Gahr Store, now Prime Minister of Norway, lay flowers at the Utoya memorial during a ceremony held a day before the 10th anniversary of the 2011 Norway terror attacks. Photo: Beate Oma Dahle/dpa.

A Norwegian court was on Tuesday considering early release for Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist convicted of the murder of 77 people in Oslo and on the island of Utøya almost 10 years ago.

The Telemark district court sitting in Skien, some 130 kilometres south-west of Oslo, will weigh up whether Breivik continues to pose a threat to society. Three days have been set aside for the hearing this week, plus an additional day in reserve.

A statement from Breivik in support of his application is scheduled for the start of proceedings, with a ruling expected possibly next week.

Breivik, who is today 42 years old and calls himself Fjotolf Hansen, detonated a car bomb in the government quarter in Oslo, killing eight people on July 22, 2011.

He then carried out a massacre of people attending a youth camp organized by Norway's Labour Party, killing 69, most of them young people.

Breivik cited right-wing extremist and anti-Islam motives for his crimes, the worst terrorist attack in the country since World War II.

The Oslo District Court in 2012 sentenced him to 21 years - the maximum possible at the time. He is allowed to seek parole after 10 years, with the court determining whether the early release is warranted.

'Preventive detention' clause

The 10-year minimum sentence expired on June 5 last year, after the 445 days he had spent in custody while awaiting trial were included.

Breivik's sentence also came with a "preventive detention" clause that allows him to be kept behind bars even after 21 years if he is deemed a continued threat to society - meaning he could die in prison.

The public prosecutor's office is seeking to keep him behind bars, and it is considered highly likely that the court will agree.

The Oslo court had found at the time of his conviction that Breivik would in all likelihood continue to have the intention and capacity to commit murder even after serving his sentence.

Norwegian court weighs mass killer Breivik's application for release
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