Norwegian prison psychiatrists have said that confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is not insane, contradicting an earlier diagnoses.
The news follows earlier reports issued by a pair of court-commissioned mental health experts that the man was indeed psychotic, a diagnosis which had been the centre of fierce opposition from victims’ families as well as a topic of heavy debate among psychologists.
Now, after a second evaluation following requests from the families of the 77 people who were killed in the mid-July massacre which Breivik has confessed to, officials say he is not psychotic and has not yet been administered any related medication.
Meanwhile, Svein Holden, head prosecutor in the case said he is not calling for a third evaluation despite differing court-appointed diagnoses because Breivik now has access to media reports and could manipulate his behaviour in further testing. Mr Holden said it would be preferable to his case to let the mental health experts testify during the imminent trial, which is set to commence on 16 April.
Breivik confessed to the 22nd July planting of an explosive device in a government area of Oslo before opening fire at a youth summer camp for the country’s Labour Party. If convicted, he faces 21 years in jail or an indefinite amount of time under alternative custody arrangements.