Norway mass killer to get second mental exam: reports

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 12, 2012 6:43 PM
Norway mass killer to get second mental exam: reports

By Walter Gibbs

OSLO (Reuters) - An Oslo court Friday will order a new psychiatric examination of the man who killed 77 people last summer after an earlier team of experts sparked national debate by declaring him psychotic and unfit for prison, media reports said.

Dozens of survivors and others affected by Anders Behring Breivik's bombing and mass shooting in July have demanded a new evaluation, arguing that only someone in control of his faculties could have carried out the systematic attacks.

At a press conference scheduled for Friday, an Oslo District Court judge was to announce whether she would order a second opinion on the admitted killer's mental health.

Online newspaper VG reported late Thursday that the decision had been made and that two psychiatrists would be appointed to see if they agreed with the previous finding that Breivik suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

State broadcaster NRK said several sources close to the case "felt completely sure" a new examination would be ordered.

Breivik admits detonating a bomb at government headquarters in Oslo that killed eight people before he gunned down 69 more at an island summer camp for Labor Party youths in acts designed to punish what he called pro-immigration "traitors."

Under Norwegian procedure the 32-year-old Oslo native is set to stand trial starting April 16 regardless of his mental state.

Assuming he is found guilty, court officials said, it will be up to a trial-judge panel to decide whether Breivik goes to prison for up to 21 years or to a locked psychiatric facility.

Medical opinions weigh heavily in Norwegian practice, however, and prosecutors have said they intend to request treatment rather than punishment given the initial diagnosis.