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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Norway's PM says deadly attacks changed him

Norwegian PM Jens Stoltenberg values democratic principles more after extremist Anders Behring Breivik's killing spree, says Breivik's being declared insane by prosecutors must be accepted

AFP , Sunday 4 Dec 2011
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Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg has said the killing spree by right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik of 77 people changed him, in an interview with a German Sunday newspaper.

"The attack has become part of my identity. I value democratic values today more than before -- freedom of speech, the freedom to be able to be an active politician," he told Bild am Sonntag in comments published in German. He said those values were attacked on July 22, when the anti-immigration extremist first set off a bomb at the Labour government offices in Oslo and then carried out a shooting massacre at a Labour youth summer camp on an island near the capital.

"Whenever I feel sorry for myself, I recall that my concerns are very small, they are nothing compared to those of the victims," the Labour prime minister said, adding he had "not the slightest need" to see Behring Breivik to discuss his motives.

"He killed people in my office, people whom I knew well. My wish is to leave it up to the Norwegian justice system," he said.

Prosecutors on Tuesday declared the 32-year-old criminally insane when he carried out the deadly rampage after two psychiatrists who examined him concluded that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

By removing Behring Breivik's criminal responsibility, the diagnosis will probably see him sentenced to receive psychiatric care in a closed institution -- possibly for the rest of his life -- instead of prison.

Stoltenberg said he understood it was difficult for some of the victims' relatives to hear that the self-confessed killer might not be brought to account.

"But the best answer to the acts of July 22 is the use of democratic values. And one of these fundamental values is the principle of the state under the rule of law," he added.

If independent judges declare him of unsound mind, it has to be accepted, he said.

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