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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Breivik may get own private hospital

Norwegian authorities are reportedly considering building a one-man’s psychiatric hospital unit to accommodate confessed terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, inside the prison where’s now being held. Meanwhile Breivik refuses to answer more questions from police until they promise him ongoing access to a computer.

Breivik, who spent years plotting his attacks on government headquarters and the Labour Party’s youth organization last summer, is proving to be one tough inmate. Court authorities have already decided to remodel Oslo’s city courthouse, at a cost of millions, to accommodate Breivik’s trial. He’s also being held in no less than three cells inside the high-security Ila Prison in suburban Bærum, where he can use one for exercising, one for relaxing and sleeping, and one as a sort of living room.

Special treatment
Now, reports newspaper VG, a special psychiatric unit may be needed as well inside the prison. Breivik was declared insane by court-appointed psychiatrists, and although that decision is subject to re-evaluation, the 32-year-old Norwegian who killed 77 persons on July 22 may be committed to a psychiatric institution instead of being sentenced to prison.

There are concerns, however, that Norway’s highest-security psychiatric institution, Dikemark Sykehus in Asker west of Oslo, may not have high-enough security to hold Breivik. VG reported that corrections authorities don’t think Breivik could be prevented from escaping from Dikemark, nor are they confident that an attempt from the outside to free him could be hindered.

Thought is thus being given to creating a private, high-security psychiatric unit inside Ila Prison. He’s already isolated there from other prisoners, not least for his own safety.

A state secretary from the Labour Party confirmed that authorities are “looking at a variety of alternatives to accommodate his own security needs and to protect society.” He wouldn’t confirm specific plans, however.

Breivik makes demands
Newspaper Aftenposten reported that Breivik, meanwhile, has stopped cooperating with the rounds of questioning conducted by police since his arrest at the scene of his massacre on the island of Utøya six months ago. He says he won’t answer more questions until police guarantee that he’ll be allowed access to a computer and printer for the duration of his custody. Police can’t make such a guarantee, so the questioning has ceased.

Breivik also wants the computer to have a text program because he reportedly intends to write a book about his attacks and his ideology. Newspaper Dagsavisen has reported that justice ministry officials are considering proposing a law that would seize any income from books written by convicts. Convicts can already be prevented from working at their professions while in jail, with artist Odd Nerdrum most recently being denied the right to paint if his appeals fail and he’s sentenced to on tax evasion charges.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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