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Monday, March 4, 2024

Breivik back at his future ‘home’

The prison where confessed terrorist Anders Behring Breivik will be held, regardless of the verdict in his case on Friday, released photos of his potential accommodation this week, with officials saying they’re getting ready to receive him again.

Ila Prison released this photo of the eight-square-meter cell where Anders Behring Breivik can work. He's said to be writing a book. PHOTO: Ila fengsel og forvaringsanstalt/Glefs AS

The prison, Ila Fengsel in the Oslo suburb of Bærum, has undergone remodeling to further boost its security at its so-called “prison within a prison.” That amounts to a special section for especially dangerous criminals who can’t be kept with other prisoners and who present a clear threat to society.

Breivik has been held at Ila since his arrest following the bombing of Norway’s government headquarters and a massacre on the island of Utøya on July 22 last year. He was temporarily moved to another high-security prison at Skien in Telemark County, while Ila was undergoing more remodelling, but he was brought back to Ila this week in advance of his court appearance on Friday when the judicial panel that’s heard his case will hand down its verdict. The judges will rule on whether Breivik is sane and can be sentenced to prison, or insane, in which case he’ll be committed to mandatory psychiatric care.

This is the room where Breivik can use exercise equipment in his cell complex at Ila Prison. PHOTO: lla fengsel og forvaringsanstalt/Glefs AS

Breivik regardless will be held at Ila because no psychiatric hospital in Norway is secure enough to handle him. Breivik has never shown any regret for his terrorist attacks that killed 77 persons, and has repeatedly said, also in court, that he would carry out such attacks again as part of his opposition to Norway’s emergence as a multi-cultural society.

Breivik’s lead defense attorney Geir Lippestad repeated this week that Breivik wants to be judged as sane. “That’s still the most important issue for him,” Lippetad told newspaper Aftenposten. “He is also preoccupied with what he will say to the judges and has prepared (a response) to each eventuality.”

Lippestad also said that Breivik hasn’t changed his mind regarding an appeal. “He still says the same as he said in court,” Lippestad said. “He will appeal if he’s found to be insane.”

Breivik’s defense counsel has advised him to read the judicial panel’s entire verdict before filing an appeal, but Breivik may also appeal on the spot. If he accepts a verdict on the basis of being sane, he’ll likely be sentenced to Norway’s maximum jail term of 21 years with forvaring (protective custody) that can keep him in custody for life.

Breivik has accepted the facts of the case against him and confessed to both the bombing and the massacre. The ultra-right wing terrorist ultimately seeks acquittal, though, on the basis that he acted out of necessity “on behalf of my people, my culture, my religion, my city and my country.”

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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