Photo by Solum, Stian Lysberg/AFP/GettyImages
Regardless of whether Anders Behring Breivik is found to be criminally insane, one thing appears certain: the confessed mass killer is likely to spend the next couple decades right where he is now, inside Oslo's Ila Prison.
The Associated Press reports that Norway’s Health Directorate on Wednesday signed off on a plan to build a new psychiatric ward inside the prison specifically to house the right-wing extremist in the event he is found to be insane, as they hope he will be.
The 33-year-old has been kept at the Ila facility since his twin terror attacks last summer that killed 77 people. Breivik is currently under evaluation following a ten-week trial that concluded earlier this month.
Partly because of Norwegian prison-term limits, the trial offered the somewhat unusual situation of the defense and prosecution on the opposite sides of the insanity debate as one would expect.
Under Norwegian law, a sanity finding would mean that Breivik could be sentenced to a maximum of only 21 years in prison, although he could be held longer if he is still considered a danger to the public at that time. Authorities would have more leeway to hold him indefinitely with an insanity ruling, something that would also further undercut Breivik's claims of being a right-wing revolutionary leader. The court will rule on August 24.
Figuring out exactly where Breivik will be housed isn't the first time that Norway's justice system has had to get creative when it comes to dealing with the mass murderer. In May, the Telegraph reported that prison officials announced plans to hire "friends" for Breivik because they’re unwilling to restrict him to solitary confinement but also do not want to subject other inmates to him, worried he may try to take hostages. The "professional community" will have tasks that include playing indoor hockey and chess with Breivik.