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Norway Gunman Found To Be Sane During Shooting

4/11/2012 9:27 AM ET

Six days before the opening of his trial in Oslo district court, Anders Behring Breivik was deemed sane in a new court-ordered probe released Tuesday.

"We have concluded that the accused was not psychotic at the time of the crime," psychiatrist Agnar Aspaas told reporters at the release of the report.

The study, completed by Aspaas and his colleague Terje Toerrissen, was performed due to widespread outcry after Breivik was deemed legally insane by another probe last year.

On July 22, Breivik, a self-described Christian extremist, set off a car bomb near a government building in Oslo, killing eight bystanders. Afterwards, he drove to Utoeya Island outside of the capital and gunned down 69 people in a tragic and horrifying event over the course of several hours.

Most of those killed at Utoeya were teenagers attending a summer camp organized by Norway's ruling Labour Party.

The findings of the probe, answering the calls of Norwegians who would rather have Breivik jailed than hospitalized, actually serve to help Breivik's defense. As per his request, Breivik wants his counsel to prove he is sane and completely responsible for his multiple killings.

In this way, he said, he hopes to preserve the righteousness of the manifesto he wrote and posted online before the killing spree. In it, he rails against the "Muslim invasion" of Europe and rallies white Europeans to fight for cultural monotheism.

"His first reaction was that he was pleased with the conclusion," Breivik's lawyer Geir Lippestad said Tuesday. In fact, Lippestad said, Breivik told him he regrets "he didn't go further" in his mass killings.

Both court-ordered probes are only advisory. When verdicts are issued around mid-July, the judges will determine whether Breivik is jailed or hospitalized.

by RTT Staff Writer

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