Norwegian extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is accused of killing 77 people and injured hundreds more in dual attacks last year, has been officially charged with terrorism.
The right-wing extremist was formally presented with the charges under the country’s anti-terror laws at his prison near Oslo.
Breivik, who is claimed to have set a bomb at government offices in Oslo before going on a shooting spree at a island camp for the Labour Party youth section on 22nd July 2011, where he was eventually arrested, is expected to stand trial on 16th April. Prosecutors are currently accepting that he is mentally ill and will therefore seek to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital rather than jail.
Police spokesman Tore Jo Nielsen said Breivik showed little emotion when the charges were read.
“The whole reading-of-the-charges process was very calm and it took place in a small room where we were sitting with the accused, and I can now confirm that the charges have been read to him…” Jo Nielsen said in a BBC report.
The prosecution have confirmed that they accept that Breivik is criminally insane. They added, however, that they may alter this view if new evidence comes to light about his mental health. If found guilty, the Norwegian could face 21 years behind bars.
“The way the case appears at the time the charges are being brought, there is no basis to request a regular prison penalty,” state prosecutor Tor-Aksel Busch wrote to the prosecutors handling the case.
“But it must be clear in the charge sheet that the prosecution reserves the right, during the trial, to request a prison punishment or containment lasting 21 years, based on the complete evidence shown to the court,” he said.