Mass murderer Anders Breivik was sane when he went on a bloody rampage on the island of Utoya, killing 69 people including tens of teenagers, shortly after planting a bomb in central Oslo which killed eight, a court has ruled
Arriving in an Oslo courtroom packed with victims' relatives and journalists, Breivik looked relaxed, smiled and chatted to his lawyers. He smirked as the verdict was read out, it was one that he welcomed, but as details of his history were read out, he began to look pained and flushed.
The Norwegian right-wing extremist’s guilt was never in doubt - he admitted killing 77 people during a July 2011 rampage, planting a bomb in central Oslo and going on a shooting spree at a summer camp for the Labour Youth Organisation AUF on the island of Utoya.
A court has declared Anders Breivik is sane
The question was always if the killer was insane as he pulled the trigger, and whether he would be imprisoned in a regular jail or in a psychiatric ward.
The maximum jail term in Norway is 21 years but can be extended if Breivik is still deemed a threat to society. The prosecution had pressed for him to be declared insane, and may appeal the verdict.
After Breivik's term was revealed, Norwegian judge Heidi Heggdal told Sky News that "as long as he's regarded as dangerous he will not be let loose in Norwegian society."
The court said he must serve a minimum of ten years, minus time already served in prison during the trial.
Judge Arntzen, after delivering the court's verdict, described Breivik's childhood, when he was monitored by psychologists and his troubled youth. She also mentioned his obsession with World of Warcraft, playing it up to 16 hours a day, and his meetings with fellow extreme nationalists.
Breivik will be given the opportunity to speak to the court at around 5pm on Friday
According to a survey by Norwegian broadcaster NRK, the majority of people in the country think Breivik, 33, should be found sane.
Breivik has previously said that being found insane would be “worse than death", ruining his image as a hero who stood up for his beliefs.
The killer is expected to see out the rest of his days at the high security but humanitarian Ila Prison, reports the Australian, at an annual cost to the Norwegian taxpayer of up to £1.7m.
Ellen Bjercke, senior adviser at Illa Prison, said before the verdict: "I think the loss of liberty is the major punishment regardless of what sort of conditions you have lost your liberty under."
During the trial, the court heard 77 autopsy reports, saw photos of those killed and listed to a one-minute biography of the victim, most of them young teens, talking about their hopes for the future, which would never be fulfilled.
The court also heard testimony from survivors, many of whom were still suffering the effects of horrific injuries caused by bullet wounds.
The families of the victims have previously expressed distress that the killer has been given a platform during his lengthy trial to expand on his supremacist philosophy.
Families were given badges to wear by the court saying "no interviews please" if they did not want to be hassled by journalists after the verdict.
Members of the Labour Youth Organisation, AUF, gather with guests and relatives of those who died a year ago, at the Utoya Island on the first anniversary of the massacre
His lengthy speeches, about his plans to begin a war against multiculturalism, were not broadcast but were published in full on several websites.
He is believed to be planning an autobiography, writing it in prison.
He demanded a computer as a condition of his cooperation with police, but the machine has no internet access. He also uses the computer to communicate with "supporters" around the world.
Sky News reported that one woman in North America, a self-described "girl fan" had been writing admiring letters to Breivik.
Thousands lay flowers outside the courtroom during the trial of Anders Brevik, to pay tribute to the victims
She told the broadcaster: "I am pleased when others do take material steps towards the destruction of the current system. I am in essence, one of ABB's many 'girl-fans'."
Officials at Ila Prison have been monitoring and censoring Breivik's letters and his writings.
The massacre sent shockwaves through the Scandanavian country, with thousands turning out to pay tribute to the victims and demonstrate unity against a killer who had urged Norway to divide along racial lines.
Outside the courtroom, people came to lay flowers, and in April, nearly 40,000 people turned up in the rain at the Youngstorget Square in Oslo to participate in the singing of "Barn av Regnbuen" "Children of the Rainbow".
The song which was a hit of Norwegian folk singer Lillebjoern Nilsen several decades ago, has become a signature tune for the victims of the July massacre.
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