Norwegian Mass Murderer Breivik Sentenced to 21 Years

Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in bomb and shooting attacks last year; Breivik tells court he won't appeal verdict, because that would 'legitimize the court.'

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A Norwegian court on Friday ruled that mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik was sane and sentenced him to a maximum term of 21 years for killing 77 people in bomb and shooting attacks last year.

The anti-Muslim gunman, who carried out the worst attacks in Norway since World War II, smirked when presiding judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntsen read out the verdict in the packed Olso District Court.

Breivik told the court that he would not appeal the verdict. "I don't recognize the court, the sentence is in my view illegitimate. If i appeal I legitimize the court," he said.

Breivik's detention could be extended indefinitely if he is deemed a threat to society. Arnsten said the verdict by the five-judge bench was unanimous.

Survivors of the attacks, including a shooting rampage at a political youth camp, welcomed the verdict as did the bereaved.

"This was the verdict that I had hoped for," Tore Sinding Bekkedal, who hid in a bathroom during the attack, told news agency NTB.

Mette Yvonne Larsen, a lawyer for victims and their families, said: "The court took a brave and independent decision."

Adrian Pracon, another survivor, told TV2 news that the sentence "was a great relief ... I want to move on, and this is a first step."

Youth wing leader Eskil Pedersen, told reporters: "Today he was sentenced and we are reminded that it is a person who is responsible for this.

"It was a political attack. A man tried to destroy a generation of youth wing politicians, he hit us hard, but couldn't defeat us."

The 33-year-old right-wing extremist was expected to make a brief statement before being taken to the Ila prison near Oslo, where he has been held for more than a year and where will serve his sentence in a three-cell facility.

He will be denied contact with other inmates but allowed a daily walk outside. One of the cells has a computer that is not connected to the internet and another has a treadmill.

The judges overruled a request by the prosecution to declare Breivik insane. Prosecutor Svein Holden declined during a recess to comment if the prosecutors would appeal.

Breivik had wanted a sane verdict. He said he carried out the bombing attacks in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the nearby island of Utoya to protect Norway from an influx of Muslim immigrants.

He had pleaded not guilty to charges of terrorism and premeditated murder.
The question of his sanity had been central to the 10-week trial, during which survivors and family and friends of the victims testified.

Norwegian mass murderer Breivik sentenced to 21 years 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.

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik reacts as he returns after a break to the court room, in Oslo Court, August 24, 2012.Credit: Reuters



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