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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Terror defendant may be moved

Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old Norwegian charged in last month’s terrorist attacks that killed 77 persons, may be moved from the prison where’s he’s being held outside Oslo to another high security prison in Skien. Meanwhile, he’s reportedly been receiving letters from women around the world but can’t read them because he’s being held in full isolation.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that Breivik may be moved from Ila Prison in suburban Bærum to Skien Prison, when it no longer is necessary for Oslo police to be questioning him so often. Skien is one of two prisons in Norway with an “especially high” level of security and may be most appropriate as Breivik awaits trial, expected to begin sometime next year.

The other prison with high security is Ringerike Prison, but it’s situated along the same fjord, Tyrifjorden, as the island where Breivik has confessed to gunning down scores of people attending a Labour Party summer camp. Bjørn Krogsrud, director for prisons in southern Norway, told NRK that he doesn’t think that’s a strong argument against using Ringerike Prison but nonetheless thinks Skien is a better alternative.

The prison in Skien, a few hours’ drive southwest of Oslo, has fewer inmates than Ringerike and its high-security facilities for those in isolation would be better suited, Krogsrud told NRK.

The terms of Breivik’s incarceration, with no allowance for correspondence, media access or visitors except for his attorney and medical personnel, mean that he hasn’t been allowed to read any of the letters that newspaper VG reported have been sent to him from women all over the world.

The letters, according to VG, are of “various character,” coming from Christians who say they want to save him, for example, or women who take on a motherly role. He also has received threats and hate mail.

Most of those sending him letters are women, according to VG. “This is nothing new,” psychologist Thore Langeldt told VG. “There are some women who are attracted by criminals who have carried out extreme acts. What’s behind this, we don’t know.”

All the letters arriving for Breivik are being turned over to police. Neither prison director Knut Bjarkeid nor prosecutor Pål-Fredrik Hjort would comment, while Breivik’s defense attorney Geir Lippestad said he was unaware of what type of mail Breivik was being sent in prison.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund
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