Stop the 'Circus': Mass Killer Breivik May See Prison Conditions Eased Following Parole Trial
Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 and wounded over 150 people in a twin terrorist attack in 2011, has served 10 years of his 21-year sentence, the harshest in Norway, and may legally apply for parole each year – a possibility which top lawyers and politicians now seek to prevent.
The trial in Norway, where a court is to decide whether convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik can be released on parole ten years after he killed 77 people in Oslo and in a youth camp on Utøya Island has concluded, and a ruling is expected within the next few weeks.
While there is admittedly little chance for Breivik to be released, as psychiatrists classified him as a "self-absorbed psychopath" who hasn't repudiated his violent ways despite public assurances voiced during the recent trial, the situation is likely to repeat itself. In 2012, Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison, the harshest punishment in Norway, sometimes referred to as a "life sentence". After 10 years in prison though, he has the right to apply for parole every year.
Furthermore, the penitentiary may have to ease Breivik's conditions in the aftermath of the trial.
According to Breivik's lawyer, he hasn't had physical contact with people other than the prison guards for the past nine and a half years, which may be seen as a violation of laws, national broadcaster NRK reported
However, former Attorney General Tor-Aksel Busch called on politicians to change the law so that Breivik cannot go to court every year and request parole, which he argued was a "great burden" for the families of victims and survivors.
"It seems quite clear, based on what has emerged in the media, that Breivik has had quite a bit of progression in his personal development. I would be very careful to predict how he will develop further, but there are many indications that in a year's time he will be in exactly the same situation as today, and that he will pose the same danger of recurrence", Busch told
the newspaper Verdens Gang
Similar thoughts were echoed by Lisbeth Røyneland, the leader of July 22 support group dealing with the aftermath of Breivik's twin terrorist acts in 2011. She is glad that the case, which has been "painful" to follow, has ended.
"It has been quite tough, but also very absurd. But it shows that Breivik is as dangerous as he was before, as he has been all along. That has been confirmed by the two previous trials and now by this one", Røyneland told
national broadcaster NRK
. "It is absurd and pathetic, but that is how the law in Norway works", she added. At the same time, she ventured that special rules around Breivik would give him even more publicity.
The proposal to prevent Breivik from seeking parole has been backed by several parties, including the opposition Progress Party and the Conservatives.
"We will promote this proposal in parliament immediately", leader of the parliamentary Justice Committee Per-Willy Amundsen of the Progress Party told Verdens Gang. "Otherwise, we will get the same circus year after year".
Prosecutor Hulda Karlsdottir, who called Anders Breivik a "very dangerous man", as dangerous as eleven years ago, and asked the court to reject his request, also mentioned that Breivik has been using his lawsuits for PR.
"He is nurtured by publicity. He radiates. I think it hurts to see, up against the case we are dealing with", Karlsdottir told NRK.
Breivik performed several publicity stunts during the recent case as well. Among other things, he repeated the Nazi salute he has used in court before and wore placards saying "Stop your genocide against our white nations" attached to his suit and briefcase.
In 2011, Anders Breivik (42) carried out the deadliest peacetime attack in Norway since World War II. He started by setting off a bomb inside a truck outside the government quarter in the capital of Oslo, killing eight people and wounding more.
After that, he drove to the island of Utøya, where an annual summer camp for the country's Labour Party's youth wing was being held. There, he opened fire at the camp, killing another 69 people and wounding 150 more, most of them teenagers.
Prior to the twin attacks, he disseminated a 1,500-page manifesto against feminism, multiculturalism, and Islam.