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‘I am not a psychiatric case,’ Breivik tells court

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, April 20, 2012 7:30 EDT
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Anders Behring Breivik in court via AFP
 
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Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is on trial for killing 77 people last July, insisted to an Oslo court Friday that he is sane.

“I am not a psychiatric case,” Breivik told the court when questioned by a lawyer for the plaintiffs about his understanding of “empathy”, insisting “I am criminally sane.”

“When you see something so extreme, you could think that it is insanity, but you have to differentiate between political extremism and insanity in the clinical sense of the term,” he said.

The 33-year-old right-wing extremist testified extensively Friday about how he had consciously worked for years to block out his emotions, using a special kind of Japanese meditation, to prepare for his attacks and also to get through his 10-week trial.

“I know what I have done. I know what I have caused,” he told the court, but added that he had decided not to try to truly “comprehend the suffering I have caused” for fear he would break down.

Breivik wants to be found sane and accountable for his actions so that his ideology and manifesto will not be considered the ravings of a lunatic.

If he is found sane, he will get a 21-year jail term which would be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society. If he is found insane he could receive closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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