A clenched fist and a smirk as court declares Anders Breivik sane

Extremist gets the maximum sentence for attack in Norway that claimed 77 lives

Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik yesterday said he regretted "not killing more" in his twin terrorist attacks last year, after an Oslo court declared him sane and convicted him for the slaughter of 77 people in the worst act of violence in Norway since the Second World War.

A panel of five judges rejected the views of one group of psychiatrists, which held that the 33-year-old far-right fanatic was psychotic when he detonated a bomb in central Oslo, killing eight people, and shot dead 69 others, mostly teenagers, attending a political summer camp in July last year.

Instead, they sided with a second team which concluded that Breivik is sane and guilty of terrorism and premeditated murder. Sentencing him to a maximum of 21 years in jail, with a minimum term of 10 years, they were unanimous in their verdict that he was mentally fit and bore full responsibility for his attacks. Breivik could spend the rest of his life in jail if at the end of his sentence he is still considered a threat to society.

The judges said Breivik's admission during the trial that his claims to be a member of a non-existent "Knights Templar" organisation were "pompous" and "exaggerated" had provided conclusive proof of his sanity.

Dressed in a dark suit, Breivik gave his habitual clenched fist salute on his arrival in court. When the verdict was read out, he was unable to suppress a smirk of satisfaction; he had insisted during his trial that to be declared insane "would be a fate worse than death" and clearly welcomed the court's description of him as a terrorist extremist.

Later, reading from a prepared statement, Breivik told the crowded Oslo court that he apologised to "militant nationalists" for not killing more people during the attacks. He added that he would not appeal against the judgement "because this would legitimise the court".

Breivik had argued that his attacks were "cruel but necessary" to prevent Norway being "swamped by Muslims". He has said he plans to write and publish a book while in jail and he is reported to have a following on the internet. Fears have been voiced in Norway that he will become a martyr figure for right-wing fanatics worldwide.

Yesterday's verdict was the final day of a traumatic trial which opened in April. The ruling was delivered to a hushed courtroom filled with the relatives of Breivik's victims and survivors of his attacks. Several had amputated limbs. Many hugged each other as the verdict was read out. Some wept openly.

Per Balch Soerensen, whose teenage daughter was shot dead by Breivik while attending the Norwegian Labour Party summer camp on the fjord island of Utoya, welcomed the verdict. "Now we won't hear about him for quite a while. Now we can have peace and quiet," he said. Other relatives said the verdict was a "victory".

Breivik spent years planning his attacks after becoming obsessed with far-right ideology and violent computer games. On 22 July last year, he detonated a 950kg bomb in Oslo's government quarter, killing eight people and wounding dozens.

Dressed as a police officer, he drove a hire car to Utoya, north-west of Oslo. Using an automatic rifle, he shot dead 69 Labour party members, whom he accused of spreading multiculturalism. An inquiry found that police could have stopped Breivik sooner if they had responded more quickly.

Breivik will serve his sentence in the Ila prison in Oslo. He can use a computer but has no internet access.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk