Friday, August 24, 2012

Breivik Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison

Anders Behring Breivik, who has spent the last 10 weeks in court defending his massacre of 77 teenagers and government workers last year, is mentally fit to serve a prison sentence, according to a ruling by the Oslo District Court.

Breivik, who smiled as Judge Wenche Arntzen read out the verdict, was sentenced to a 21-year jail term and must serve a minimum of 10 years.

All five judges, two professional and three lay, agreed on the verdict.

Last year’s July 22 attacks, in which Breivik first detonated a bomb outside Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office, killing eight, before sailing to the island of Utoeya to gun down 69 members of the ruling Labor Party’s youth faction, have thrust Norway into its biggest post-war criminal trial.

Self-confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court. Photo: AFP
The ease with which Breivik executed his attacks may in part lie in the vulnerability created by Norway’s prosperity and openness, said Nina Witoszek, an Oslo University professor who moved to Norway in the 1980s and has written books on Norwegian identity including ‘‘The Origins of the Regime of Goodness - Remapping the Cultural History of Norway.’’

‘‘The conviction that we live in the best society in the world makes us certain of our own welfare and immune to concern,’’ she said in an interview.

The authorities’ response to the attacks ‘‘was a combination of stupidity, nonchalance, optimism and decadence,’’ she said.

How to deal with the aftermath of Breivik ‘‘will divide the country,’’ she said.

This article was published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Flash Points: Edit Schlaffer presents SAVE on CBS