Norway

Norway gunman 'insane' - defence lawyer

Investigators continue the search for missing people from the Utoeya youth camp with an underwater camera off the island in Tyrifjorden lake 26 July  2011.
Investigators continue the search for missing people from the Utoeya youth camp with an underwater camera off the island in Tyrifjorden lake 26 July 2011. Reuters/Terje Bendiksby

The defence lawyer for Anders Behring Breivik, the gunman in Friday’s massacre in Norway, said Tuesday that everything about his client's case indicates he is "insane".  

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"This whole case indicates that he's insane," Geir Lippestad told journalists, adding that a medical evaluation would take place to establish his psychiatric condition.

Earlier Tuesday Norwegian police were considering indicting Behring Breivik for crimes against humanity.

Many in Norway have been alarmed by the prospect that the perpetrator could face only 21 years in jail - the maximum sentence allowed for the terrorism charges that Behring Breivik currently faces.

But prosecutor Christian Hatlo told Tuesday’s Aftenposten newspaper that police are now envisaging charging him with crimes against humanity for the bombing of Oslo's government district and a shooting spree on a nearby island.

A total of 76 people died in both attacks.

Behring Breivik admitted carrying out the attacks at his first court appearance on Monday.

He said that he wanted to save Norway and Western Europe from a Muslim invasion and that the attacks targeting the Labour Party-led government and its youth wing were "cruel" but "necessary".

It is also emerged on Monday that he had been investigated in March for a purchase of chemicals, but the probe was dropped.

The police have been heavily criticised for the time it took them to reach Utoeya island where Behring Breivik shot dead 68 of his victims.

But in a press conference on Tuesday, Norway's Justice Minister Knut Storberget hailed the "fantastic" work done by police.

"These are people who worked much harder than you could expect of anyone, these are people who interrupted their holidays and who volunteered to help from all parts of the country".
 

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