Liesbeth van der Heide, Daan Weggemans & Sabine Wanmaker, August 24, 2012

Today, we will be live blogging from the courthouse.

The final verdict. The jugdes of the Oslo District Court judge Breivik to be legally responsible and he will be sentenced to 21 years of prison with a minimum of 10 years.

17.30 End

Breivik will not appeal. Prosecutors want to consider whether they will appeal or not. The court has adjourned.

17.30: Breivik Speaks

He does still not recognize the court. The sentence is illegitimate. But he cannot appeal, because then he would legitimize the court.

Judge interrupts: Breivik wanted to say something to nationalists, the judge will not accept that. She has to be spoken to and not someone outside of the court.

17.25: Time

Breivik will be 53 when he might be released. His personality is not very accessible for therapy. Also after 21 year the court think Breivik will be a very dangerous man. After 21 years, the sentence may be extended each time by 5 year. Minimum period after which Breivik can be released is 10 years. Breivik will never have the financial possibilities to repay the

17.20 No Mercy

It was an attack against the countries democratic institutions and youth who where shot without mercy.

17.15 Risk

The court believes that there is a future risk of violence with Breivik. He has a capacity and will to exercise extreme violence. A high risk of serious violence in the future. He said violence and terror are necessary for his view to prefail.

16.48: Police 

During the interviewing of Breivik by the police (220 hours) there was no evidence found for mental delusion.

16.28: Recess

16.20: Political context
The prosecution focussed on the knights templar and the idea that Breivik was insane because such an organisation does not exist. Herewith, following the first rapport.

16.11: Norwegian paper Aftenposten..
has published that the prosecutor will not, as expected, appeal.

16.06: Breivik’s mother
The judges describe the (change of) behavior of Breivik towards his mother. These can be described in the light of an upcoming terrorist attack of Breivik.

16.00: Control of impulses
Judge concludes that Breivik has stamina and control of his impulses. He was on facebook, had social contacts on the internet. The court finds this relevant for the overall assessment of the suspect.

15.55: Subcultures
The possibility of Breivik being Schizophrenic because he uses neologisms has been rejected by the judge. The words he uses are frequently used, as Tore Bjorgo told us as well, in extreme-right subcultures.

15.48: Later
Breivik will be asked if he accepts the verdict or if he wants to appeal (or if he wants to decide in two weeks. Also question for prosecution if they want to appeal. The victims cannot appeal.

15.41: Research Breivik
Because of his saleswork, Breivik states, he has become a good judge of character.
’70% of what you are thinking I know. You are political correct but you are not Marxists’.

15.15 Breiviks Political Ideology
The manifest of Breivik where he speaks about a civil war has not to be interpreted not literally. Later Breivik has downplayed his role as a pioneer of a civil war. It must be understood in a political context, right-wing subcultures.

15.10 Ullrik Frederik Malt
Role of witness, pshychiatrist,  who we have interviewed, has been named.

15.50 Has criminal accountability been proofed enough?
Summing up possible mental deviances.

Breivik believes that he is a pioneer in European civil war. He compares himselve with Alexandre the Great and Queen Isabel.- Breivik looks down with a small laugh.

14.48: Experts
The work and conclusions of the pshychiatrists. First report believed that Breivik suffered from a mental disorder. Second report judged differently. Disagreements between experts. When this happens, the law that has to decide.

14.38: Probability of Breivik being sane.
Not the same strength of evidence as the evidence that Breivik has commited the attacks. The possibility that Breivik was insane is not enough to rule him insane. Ben Mcpherson of the Foreigner states :

Normally the Norwegian approach is that any doubt as to sanity has to lead to insanity verdict. However, last week a judge who had worked on the case told The Foreigner that Judge Arntzen had a lot more room for making her own decision than that would seem to allow.’

14:32: On Breivik’s (in)sanity
The judge is talking about the (in)sanity rules under Norwegian Law. (Earlier today Expert Mr. Tore Bjorgo stated that this verdict can be considered a failure for the first pshychiatric team, see here.)

Editors note: Considering the Sentence
He was sentenced to 21 years imprisonment but the sentence can be extended infinitely with 5 years if he is still considered to be a danger to society or if society is considered a danger to him.

14:05: Terrorist intent
The jugde goes into what he calls the killings that were done in a ‘particularly gruesome way’, explaining how Breivik used ‘follow-up’ or ‘security-shots’, to ensure his victims were actually killed.

Central government functions were seriously disrupted.

13:53: The judge will now start discussing the subjective conditions for observing the punishment
The judge goes into the details of why Breivik’s acts were deemed ‘terrorist acts’; citing the terrorist intent to incite fear and intimidate a population. Also of importance is the geographic spread of the attacks, the number of persons involved, the financial consequences and the seriousness of the disruption.

The attack is compared with 9/11, also causing serious terror in the population. Breivik planned and carried out his acts carefully, selecting targets he considered ‘legitimate’. Breivik has said he use the water around Utøya as a ‘weapon of mass destruction’. His intent was to kill as many as possible in the government district and everyone at Utøya. The court finds there is no doubt all the attempted murders were premeditated and carried out with great cruelty.

13:16: Attempted murders at Utøya
The judge describes the injuries the survivors of Utøya suffered and the details of what they endured that day. Emphasis is placed on the psychological effects of that fatal day as well. He also describes how some of the victims saw Breivik from close by, his face showing a mixture of anger and joy. One of the victims was shot in the knee and carried away by others, when they heard the shots coming closer. She urged the others to start running and lay on the ground pretending to be dead. Breivik passed her by without shooting her again. She was  able to reach a boat and was saved.

13:04: Attempted murders at Utøya
Breivik intended to kill everybody present at the island of Utoya. With a few exceptions, he shot at every person he saw. Details about people trying to flee by swimming away from the island and finally being picked up by boats after 1 hour in the water. Breivik discusses shortly with his defense lawyers.

12:19: Break until 1pm

Many of the aggrieved parties show their emotions, crying and quietly listening to the judge.

12:04: Victims of Utøya
The judge continues reading out the names and ages of those who died on Utøya and the gruesome details of how Breivik killed them misleadingly asking victims where the perpetrator was and using smoke grenades. This is probably extremely difficult for the aggrieved parties to have to hear again, says the Foreigner. At 18.00 hrs he first called the police saying he was willing to give himself up.

Breivik himself looks unmoved by the details about the victims, looking down a lot and momentarily glancing at the judges.

11:34: The victims of Utøya
The judges start reading about the victims on Utøya. The judge describes who were present on the island during the shootings, 462 in total, including participants of the UAF-youth camp organized by the youth department of the Labour Party. Among those were administrative staff and their family members. Breivik fired shots at people on the island, in the water and in boats before he was apprehended at 18.35 hrs. Some of the boats belonged to people from a campsite who were warned by those who swam from Utøya to the camp, in search of safety. The judge describes what happened on Utøya and sums up the names and injuries that led to their death from the victims who died on the island.

11:19: The victims in Oslo
The judges continue reading about the victims, starting with the 9 persons who were killed in the Oslo bombing. This is a very important part of the trial, that serves both as a memorial for and a tribute to the victims.

11:04: reaction of Mette Larsen, coordinating counself for the aggrieved parties
Mette Yvonne Larsen speaks of a ‘fair verdict‘. She said it would have been hard to accept for her clients if Breivik would have been declared insane and thus, not responsible.

10:34: World of warcraft
After Breivik moved back in with his mother in 2006, he hardly had any contact with friends. Instead, he played the computer game World of Warcraft, an internet role playing game where you play on a team and try to reach a common aim. Together, you solve assignments for rewards, which can be anything from collecting carrots to killing dragons. The game is played on real time internet, where the players are connected through internet using headphones. Breivik kept a diary in which he wrote he had several roles, including guildmaster (team leader), which made him responsible for coordinating efforts of the other players.

A witness described Breivik’s activity level as very high, playing 6-7 days per week and up to 12 hours a day, sometimes 16. The witness described him as one of his best officers: a social player who had a lot of friends in the game. He was a very knowledgeable person and he was good at motivating his team. Online, he did not discuss politics but rather, he talked about soccer.

10:20: Knights Templar
Then they focus on his obsession with the Knights Templar; a probably non-existing nationalistic organisation. Inspired by their ideas he wrote three books sharing his own ideas. Most of them focus on the wave of muslims taking over Europa, leading to Eurabia.

10:05: Breivik’s background, childhood and early years. 
The judge reads about how his parents split up when he was 1,5 years old. While they are reading it he looks away. Multiple times during his childhood, Breivik came in contact with social services, which were often contacted by his mother. Until age 15, Breivik spent his holidays with his father – after which the contact waned. In 1994 he and his mother moved to Oslo. In those years he had several encounters with the police for petty crime. In the fall of 1995, Breivik entered secondary school for one year before switching to another school. He never graduated but left on his own initiative because he said he wanted to earn money and establish his own company. He moved out and started living on his own until 2006, when he moved back in with his mother. He did not serve in the military.

In the summer of 1997 Breivik worked part-time with a company providing telemarketing customer service. There, he was promoted to team leader. Between 2000 and 2006 he ran several types of businesses. In 2002 he went to Liberia, probably to purchase diamonds. According to Breivik, he was there to meet a Serbian nationalist. After 2006, he had acquired considerable savings and he was not financially supported by the state.

10:03: The final verdict. The jugdes of the Oslo District Court judge Breivik to be legally responsible and he will be sentenced to 21 years of prison with a minimum of 10 years. Breivik smiles.
Chilling to see the defendant smiling when he just heard he is sentenced to be in prison probably for the rest of his life. According to the BBC, this verdict will come as a relief to many of the survivors and families who said they wanted Breivik to be accountable for his actions.

Some relatives of the dead welcomed the verdict. “Now we won’t hear about him for quite a while. Now we can have peace and quiet,” Per Balch Soerensen, whose daughter was among those killed in the shooting massacre, told Denmarks TV2, according to The Associated Press. “He doesn’t mean anything to me, he is just air.”

Tore Sinding Bekkedal, a survivor of the attack on Utoya, said: “I am relieved to see this verdict. The temptation for people to fob him off as a madman has gone. It would have been difficult to unite the concept of insanity with the level of detail in his planning.”

Bjorn Magnus Jacobsen, another Utoya survivor, said: “Today we heard that he was sane. In the long run that does not matter. What matters now is that we need to take extremism seriously.”

10:00: Breivik’s entrance
Breivik entered once again showing his Templar’s greet and sat down, his face showing no emotions.

08:15: Arrival
We just arrived in Oslo District Court where today, Norway’s trial of the century will reach its final verdict. Outside, the building is guarded by the police while people queue up to get entrance to the building where the country’s attention is focused on today. The air is filled with anticipation, press from all over the world are putting up their equipment and the hallways are filled with roaming journalists, asking questions on the phone or talking to each other.

Everyone is waiting for the judges to take their place and start reading out their final decision on whether Breivik is sane or insane, send to prison or to a mental health care institution. The reading of the entire sentence is expected to take up to six hours, including three breaks. After the judges finish reading, Breivik will be asked if he understands the judgment and if he wants to appeal it. Then, he will get a chance to say a few words but he will receive limited time to do so. Finally, a press conference will be held where the state attorneys, aid lawyers and finally the defense will answer questions.

Some statistics from VG (one of the largest Norwegian newspapers) today:

72% of Norwegians want Breivik to be declared sane and responsible

54% of Norwegians lost faith in the role of the psychiatric system

49% of Norwegians feel Breivik received too much of a platform during the trial

31% of Norwegians feel the legal system has been strengthened through the trial