The trial of mass killer Anders Breivik in Norway is in its final throes. The 10-week trial is due to end tomorrow, June 22, 2012. For the survivors of his horrific attack on July 22, 2011, the trial has been a necessary evil. They have faced Breivik across the court room stirring up terrible memories of that fateful day.
Breivik killed 77 people, including children, in the bomb and gun rampage he launched. Loved ones of those who died have also endured being close to Breivik during the trial. All have said that they want justice for those who died.
Deciding just what that justice will be, is the remaining job of the court.
From the start of the trial determining Breivik's state of mind prior to the attack, during the attack and since has been paramount. The verdict of the trial in expected on one of two days, either in July or August.. The disputed issue is Brevik's state of mind. The prosecution are asking that he be declared insane. If the court agrees Breivik will be placed into compulsory psychiatric care. This will mean that he will not face criminal charges for his actions in attacking so many people. In other words he will not be held criminally responsible.
Many people will claim such a verdict will offer Breivik a soft option. However it is one he deos not want.
Brevik has maintained a not guilty plea throughout the trial. His argument is that his actions were politically motivated. The judges at the trial will have to decide if he is insane or sane and then issue the appropriate sentence.
The Juky 22 massacre is the worst in Norway's peace time history.
Tomorrow June 22, 2012, Brevik's defense team will respond to the prosecution's claim that Breivik is insane.
Update: June 22, 2012, the trial ends.
Today Breivik has taken to the stand to protest his sanity. He has maintained yet again that, "he acted to stop a Muslim invasion, and has asked to be considered sane and to be acquitted." That statement alone in many people's minds shows how insane he is.
Around 30 people, the family members of Breivik's victims walked out in protest during his testimony. They have had to listen to gut wrenching details, of the murder of their loved ones, throughout this 10-week trial. Their stance today was that Breivik had the right to speak but they did not have to listen to him. They had heard all that was relevant already.
Brevik had to formally ask to be acquitted as he does not accept any guilt. However he talked for 45 minutes detailing his political extremism and hatred of many people. Much of today's evidence, including Breivik's plea statement was not broadcast.
The judges now face the task of deciding whether or not Brevik is sane. Their verdict will be revealed on August 24, 2012.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog