Much hangs on whether Anders Breivik, who confessed to killing 77
people last summer, is ruled to be sane or insane. Psychiatrists who
found him insane defended their view in Norway court today.
The Norwegian psychiatrists behind the much-debated report
deeming Anders Behring Breivik insane defended their diagnosis in
court today, despite mounting evidence that the self-confessed
killer was possibly sane and hence criminally punishable for
claiming 77 lives last July.
Torgeir Huseby, one of the two psychiatrists behind the forensic
report released in November that found Breivik to be paranoid
schizophrenic, testified in court that they intentionally did not
delve into Breivik's political beliefs during their psychiatric
The self-described militant nationalist claims the policies of
the Norwegian Labor party forced him to bomb government buildings in
Oslo and go on a shooting spree at a Labor party youth camp. He says
the party's lax immigration policies and promotion of
multiculturalism have allowed Muslim "colonization" of Europe and
threaten Norwegian society.
"We are psychiatrists, not historians," said Mr. Huseby. "The
main rule regarding a delusion is not the setting ... but the role
[in which] one sees oneself in that picture. When we have a new
Jesus, we don't call in religious experts..."
"It has been the egocentric bias in [Breivik's political]
compendium which has been of interest, both his own appointed role
July 22 [in the 2011 attacks] and his future importance for Europe
and the world," he added.
Huseby and report co-author Synne Sorheim have come under
increasing fire after a second forensic psychiatric report in April
concluded Breivik was not psychotic when he placed a car bomb
outside government buildings and later shot teenagers at the summer
political camp on Utoya island. In particular, they have been
criticized for writing off Breivik's extreme political ideology as
"One ought to have talked to the person one has diagnosed, as
[Ulrik Fredrik] Malt has pointed out," Huseby said in his opening
statement today, in a direct poke at one of his critics.
Mr. Malt, an independent psychiatric expert on behalf of the
legal counsel for the victims, testified last week that in his
"academic opinion," Breivik possibly had Asperberger or Tourette
syndrome, but not signs of psychosis, after having observed Breivik
in court and read the forensic psychiatric reports.
Attacks on the first report
Malt was one of a slew of psychiatric experts in court over the
past two weeks - many of whom observed Breivik at Ila prison - who
have attacked the conclusion from the first report. …