Panel confirms Norway killer's insanity diagnosis

Panel confirms Norway killer's insanity diagnosis

OSLO - Agence France-Presse
Panel confirms Norway killers insanity diagnosis

Bomb and terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik (red top) leaves the courthouse in a police car in Oslo on July 25, 2011, after the hearing to decide his further detention. AFP Photo

A panel of experts confirmed Thursday that the Norway gunman who killed 77 people in twin attacks in July was criminally insane, meaning he will likely be sent to a closed psychiatric ward.

"There is no major objection to the report" published on November 29 by two psychiatrists which found that Anders Behring Breivik suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, the head of the panel of experts, Karl Heinrik Melle said, according to Norwegian news agency NTB.

The panel's conclusions were submitted to the Oslo district court.

Behring Breivik, an anti-Islam 32-year-old right-wing extremist, is currently being held at a high-security prison outside Oslo pending his trial which is due to open on April 16.

Given the psychiatric evaluations, Behring Breivik is expected to be sentenced to psychiatric care in a closed ward instead of going to jail.

The gunman has disputed the diagnosis of insanity, according to one of his lawyers.

On July 22, he first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, before heading to the island of Utoeya where he spent nearly an hour and a half methodically shooting and killing another 69 people attending a summer camp, most of them teenagers.

Although he has confessed to the facts, Behring Breivik has refused to plead guilty, claiming he was waging a war and that his actions were "atrocious but necessary."