|Norway divided after report declares mass killer insane|
| [30.11.2011, 07:22pm, Wed. GMT]|
|A report declaring mass killer Anders Behring Breivik insane, meaning he will most likely end up in a psychiatric institution rather than jail, has divided Norwegians who are still traumatised by the July massacre. From disbelief and anger to acceptance this may be the best way forward, Norwegians reacted strongly to the conclusions of a mental health assessment released yesterday about the man who committed the country’s worst ever attacks since World War Two.Breivik killed 77 people on July 22 when he planted a car bomb that killed eight people at an Oslo government building, then went on to shoot dead 69 more, most of them teenagers, at an island summer camp of the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing. If the court accepts the report’s conclusions, Breivik would be held in a mental health institution rather than in a prison. Norwegian courts can challenge psychiatric evaluations or order new tests but rarely reject them. Astri Krukhaug and Liv Svaba, two pensioners from southern Norway, said they were relieved that the report declared Breivik unfit to be tried as sane, a conclusion the killer himself described as “insulting”.|
“It was a relief. You don’t want to be tried in the same court as him. That would soil the whole system, and would be against my sense of justice,” said Svaba in Oslo, as Krukhaug nodded in agreement. “Had he been declared sane, he would have counted as one of us, he would have been like you or me. But he is against everything we stand for.”
The women’s opinions were shared by 36 percent of Norwegians according to a poll conducted for the Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
But the survey of 1,000 people, carried out immediately after the release of the psychiatric assessment conducted by two court-appointed experts, showed that some 48 percent of those polled disagreed with the conclusions.
“This is completely unacceptable,” said Elfete Selaci, the mother of a teenaged girl who was killed at Utoeya.