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Prison or mental ward: what Norway's Breivik can expect

21 august 2012, 19:15
0
Norway gunman Anders Behring Breivik faces either a long stay behind bars or in a psychiatric ward, with his theoretical chance of release depending on the verdict handed down on Friday, AFP reports.

Here are the possible outcomes:

* Prison sentence

If Breivik is found criminally sane and responsible for his actions, he will receive a long prison sentence that can be prolonged indefinitely as long as he is considered a threat to society.

The maximum sentence in Norway is 21 years. After that, his sentence can be extended by up to five years at a time.

An inmate who receives a maximum sentence must serve a minimum of up to 10 years behind bars, during which he cannot seek parole. After that period he can however seek parole once a year.

If Breivik is sentenced to prison, he will serve his time in a high-security facility and will be kept apart from the other inmates.

* Psychiatric care

If Breivik is found insane and not criminally responsible for his actions, he will be ordered to undergo treatment at a closed psychiatric unit, possibly for the rest of his life.

After one year of treatment, he will however be allowed to have his case reviewed yearly. Even if he does not ask for a review, his case will be reviewed at least every three years.

If Breivik is eventually found to be cured of mental illness, under Norwegian law he can be transferred to a prison as long as he is still considered a threat to society. The law has only been used once and could, according to legal experts, be called into question by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

For security reasons, even if he is sentenced to psychiatric care, Breivik will probably be detained at the Ila prison near Oslo, which has recently undergone renovation work to be outfitted with a small hospital unit.

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