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Legal steps after Norway shootings, bombing

07-25-2011 16:14 BJT

OSLO - Following are legal steps for the 32-year-old Norwegian man who has admitted to a shooting massacre and a bombing that killed at least 93 people in the worst attacks in Norway since World War Two.

Anders Behring Breivik, charged under terrorism laws, has said he launched the killings on Friday to spark a "revolution" against the multi-culturalism he blames for sapping Europe's heritage.

Monday, July 25 - A judge is set to remand Breivik in custody. Police can, for instance, request detention of eight weeks in solitary confinement with no access to news, letters or visitors, except a lawyer. That then can be extended.

Breivik will be given an opportunity to speak at the hearing, but does not have to enter a plea of "innocent" or "guilty". His lawyer says he wants to address the hearing -- he admits to the attacks but does not see a need for punishment.

Doctors will later make an assessment of Breivik's mental health, to see if he is fit for trial, while police collect evidence to build a case.

Legal experts say that a trial could be a year away.

Norway has no death penalty and the maximum jail term is 21 years. That can be extended for a renewable five years if courts decide there is a risk of repeat offences. "In theory he can be in jail for the rest of his life," said professor of criminal law at the University of Oslo, Staale Eskeland.

Under Norwegian law sentences are served concurrently. Breivik could not, for instance, be sentenced to 93 consecutive sentences that would imply almost 2,000 years in jail. "No matter how many killings he has committed the maximum cannot be more than 21 years," Eskeland said.

The maximum sentence for terrorism in Norway will shortly be raised to 30 years under a decision by parliament. Breivik cannot be tried under that law which has not yet entered into force.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: China Daily

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