Court Agrees With Psychiatrist Who Has Long Observed Breivik

Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is denied parole
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 18, 2022 6:09 AM CST
Updated Feb 1, 2022 1:09 PM CST
Unrepentant Mass Killer Begins Bid for Early Release
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, center, adjusts his tie in court.   (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB scanpix via AP)

(Newser) Update: A Norwegian court agrees with the psychiatrist who has long observed him that mass killer Anders Behring Breivik remains a threat and must remain incarcerated. The court on Tuesday said he was "an obvious risk" despite the decade that has passed since Breivik killed 77 people; he was eligible to seek parole because he has served the first 10 years of his 21-year sentence. "Because his psychiatric condition is unchanged, there is an obvious risk that he will fall back on the behavior that led up to the terrorist acts on July 22, 2011," the three-judge Telemark District Court said in its ruling, per the AP. It added the court "has no doubt that (Breivik) still today has the ability to commit new serious crimes that may expose others to danger." Our original story from Jan. 18 follows:

Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in bomb-and-gun massacres in Norway’s worst peacetime slaughter in 2011, appeared Tuesday before a court for a parole hearing, per the AP. Breivik, sporting a stubble beard and a two-piece suit, walked into the courtroom with a white supremacist message pinned to his blazer and held up a sign with the same message. He made Nazi salutes as he entered the court (he usually does at such appearances) and presented himself as the leader of a Norwegian neo-Nazi movement, suggesting he would use the hearing as an opportunity to manifest his white supremacist views rather than make an earnest attempt for early release.

A decade ago, the Norwegian mass killer was sentenced to 21 years in prison for the terrorist acts on the island of Utoya and in the government quarter in Oslo. The sentence can be extended indefinitely, but under Norwegian law, Breivik, 42, is eligible to seek parole after serving the first 10 years of his term. The court is set to sit until Thursday, and a ruling is expected later this month. Breivik has shown no remorse, and experts say the hearing is unlikely to deliver him an early release.

Ahead of the hearing, Randi Rosenqvist, the psychiatrist who has followed up with Breivik since his 2012 jailing, said she could “not detect great changes in Breivik’s functioning” since his criminal trial. Families of the victims and survivors feared Breivik would use the hearing to try to inspire likeminded ideologues. “The only thing I am afraid of is if he has the opportunity to talk freely and convey his extreme views to people who have the same mindset,” Lisbeth Kristine Royneland, who heads a family and survivors support group, said ahead of the hearing. (Breivik has sued over his prison isolation.)

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