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Norway Tragedy

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QI Moderator
902193.  Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:55 pm Reply with quote

Reproduced below are the posts from a discussion of this matter which took place on another thread, but which is better placed here. QIM.

no1 school swot wrote:
I saw on the tv this morning that Mr Breivic is looking depressingly cheerful in court today.

sally carr wrote:
I am so glad they will not be showing his testimony. Creatures like him should not be allowed a soap box.

djgordy wrote:
I'm all for giving people like him a soap box. Once they start to spout they shew what evil and stupid people they are.

filofax wrote:
I think he's pretty much shown that now, don't you? What he wants now it to lecture the world on his distorted philosophy, and I really don't think he should be allowed the satisfaction. The worst punishment someone like that can have is to be left to rot away in obscurity (although I will admit to a morbid curiosity to hear what he has to say)

'yorz wrote:
No - by all means give him a platform.

Starfish13 wrote:
I am extremely impressed at the compassion of the Norwegian people, including the survivors of the attack and the families of the dead, that this is not the prevailing view. Most people appear to be of the opinion that he should be treated no differently from any other Norwegian standing trial accused of a crime, and should be offered rehabilitation in prison if found guilty and treatment in hospital if found to be insane.

Spike wrote:
Please can someone find a way to wipe that smirk off his face!

Neotenic wrote:
I agree that it is right that his trial is given proper publicity.

The problem with denying people platforms is that it allows those who may be superficially sympathetic to the cause (even if they don't condone his ultimate actions) to romanticise his beliefs and motives.

Indeed, on a somewhat different scale, we saw much the same thing with the BNP here - at least two decades of people doing everything they could to keep their representatives away from the national stage led to them having two MEPs and a seat at the GLA.

However, the resulting platform (not least the seat at the Newsnight table for Dick Griffin) proved to be utterly catastrophic for the party, and it has pretty much collapsed under the weight of debt, in-fighting and external scrutiny.

PErsonally, I think if Brevik were to be tried in absolute secrecy, the possibility of a copycat incident is likely to be much higher than it would be with the full extent of his delusion shown under cross-examination by a skilled prosecutor.

He may be smiling now, but that's because he's obviously a narcissist and he is currently living his fantasy. Personally, I think his tune will change as the trial goes on.

filofax wrote:
I agree that it shouldn't be held in total secrecy, that he should be shown to the world for what he is. However, allowing him to pontificate and preach and achieve perhaps a secondary wave of pleasure from his self righteousness rankles. I think they have struck the right balance in allowing him the chance to speak, but not giving him the worldwide media coverage he probably wants.

I don't believe his tune will change - he believes he did the right thing, and he will enjoy boasting about it, and will probably enjoy being incarcerated for it. What gratification there is in knowing that you are a martyr for your cause, that you are the only one who knows the true path, and the only one who has the courage to do what needs to be done, regardless of the personal cost.

suze wrote:
The trial could be a rather odd one, because of a quirk of Norwegian law.

The maximum sentence upon conviction for murder in Norway is twenty one years imprisonment; Norway is one of two dozen countries in the world which do not have life imprisonment.

There is an alternative sentence called forvaring, which literally translates as "containment"; that means much the same as "At Her Majesty's Pleasure". But Norwegian legal experts are not convinced that a forvaring sentence is compatible with the constitution, and it's never actually been passed. Which means that if it is passed in this instance, there are sure to be appeals which could go on for years.

So the prosecution would much rather have him declared insane - if that happens then he will be sent to a secure hospital, and that can be for life. He's been declared sane enough to stand trial, but arguments about his sanity seem likely to form a major part of the proceedings.

Mind you, there's another issue - Norway doesn't have a secure hospital which is considered secure enough to hold Breivik. The government is well aware of this and is considering building a one-prisoner unit especially - but Norwegian taxpayers don't especially want to pay for it.

Neotenic wrote:
I've brought back the WFHIT thread about the events in Norway, for continuity purposes, and to avoid the discussion getting swamped by whatever other fabulous things may be watched on the telly.

djgordy wrote:
He could wipe stuff off his own face if only someone would let him have a box to keep his soap in.

Efros wrote:
Sometimes state imposed immolation doesn't seem such a bad idea.

902235.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:35 am Reply with quote

So Breivik thinks he has carried out 'the most spectacular and sophisticated attack on Europe since World War II'.

I suppose it depends on whether shooting fish in a barrel blows your frock up, really.

902440.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:57 pm Reply with quote

What about Las Ketchup's asault?

902457.  Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:43 pm Reply with quote


902598.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:39 am Reply with quote

I still have flashbacks of the horrors o Las Ketchup's invasion of Europe...

The nightmares!!!

902620.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:45 am Reply with quote

Just in case anyone is interested, the Grauniad are doing what are actually rather good Live updates from the court.

902634.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:10 am Reply with quote

What or who is Las Ketchup?! And how did it/they attack Europe?!

Ed: ok - they are apprently a band. But still...?

902663.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:29 am Reply with quote

Don't mind me Yorz, just being silly.

902695.  Wed Apr 18, 2012 12:41 pm Reply with quote

If I minded everybody who was playing sillybuggers on this forum, I'd buggered off myselvers. :)

934821.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:27 am Reply with quote

It says here that he has been found sane.

934852.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:50 am Reply with quote

What's his next step?
Get Amnesty on his case, by claiming he is a political prisoner?

934881.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:07 am Reply with quote

The trial was altogether a rather strange one. How often does one encounter a trial in which the defence is pushing for a verdict of guilty while the prosecution is pushing for not guilty?

That's all to do with Norway not having life imprisonment. Since Breivik did not deny the crimes, the "best" that the defence could do was to get him found guilty and hence sentenced to the maximum possible 21 years imprisonment. Among those called by the defence was a convicted Islamic terrorist - brought in to the court from jail especially - who testified that "people like him" are bad rather than mad.

The prosection wanted Breivik found not guilty by reason of insanity, which would have meant that he could have been remanded to a secure hospital without limit of time. That was causing the Norwegian authorities a bit of a problem though, because none of Norway's secure hospitals was considered secure enough for Breivik. (Not so much that he might try to escape as that others might attempt to break in and murder him.)

Building work on a special unit inside one of Norway's top security jails (an erstwhile Nazi concentration camp in the suburbs of Oslo) has in fact begun and is expected to be finished by the end of September. Now that we have the verdict, the builders will be told on Monday which of the two sets of blueprints they are to use to complete the job. Until they're done, it seems likely that he will be held under armed guard at a secret location.

934888.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:43 am Reply with quote

Could they not put him in the same cell as the 'convicted Islamic terrorist'?

Sorry, as I remarked on Facebook about Todd Akin, some people just bring out my inner barbarian...

934896.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:25 pm Reply with quote

I understand that the 21 years is a minimum, though, not a maximum, and can be renewed in 5 year increments if it is felt unsafe to release the offender.

934948.  Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:27 pm Reply with quote

Oddly, it's not actually either.

Breivik has not been sent to prison in the usual way; rather, he has been issued with a sentence of præventiv anholdelse (preventative detention). That is the only way that Norwegian law allows a sentence to exceed 21 years under any circumstances.

The minimum he must serve has been stated as ten years. After that he is eligible to apply for parole - although he knows very well that he won't get it, and probably won't trouble even to apply. When the 21 years are up, a judge will decide whether or not it is appropriate to release him and may (in the circumstances, probably will) issue a further sentence.

Incidentally, Norwegian law is not written in Norwegian, but in nineteenth century Danish. There is a plan to switch to one of the standard written forms of Norwegian (Bokmål) in time for the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution in 2014.


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