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News Link • Justice and Judges

Confessed killer Anders Breivik set for trial

•, The Associated Press
 After opening statements, Anders Behring Breivik is set to testify for five days, explaining why he set off a bomb in downtown Oslo, killing eight, and then shot to death 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a Labor Party youth camp on Utoya island, outside the Norwegian capital.

Since Breivik has confessed to the July 22 attacks -- claiming they were necessary to protect Norway from being taken over by Muslims -- the key issue that remains unresolved is his mental health.

The 33-year-old Norwegian was found insane in one examination that recommended committing him to compulsory psychiatric care, while a second assessment found him mentally competent to be sent to prison. It's up to the judges in Oslo's district court to decide which diagnosis they find most believable.
If deemed mentally competent, he would face a maximum prison sentence of 21 years or an alternate custody arrangement under which the sentence is prolonged for as long as an inmate is deemed a danger to society.

Those who survived the shooting massacre are bracing for the horror to return during the trial.

"I do not know how I will react, I do not think you can prepare for it," said Stine Renate Haaheim, a 27-year-old Labor Party lawmaker who survived the Utoya massacre by swimming away from the island.

Haaheim said she is concerned that Breivik will use the intense media focus during the trial to draw attention to his extremist views. Although she is curious about what snapped inside Breivik to turn him into a mass killer, she said "I don't think it will give any meaning to what has happened."

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