Archive for June 2012
Confusion has arisen as to whether or not the Court Medical Commission, an organ that oversees reports submitted by court-appointed psychiatrists, has aproved the second psychiatric report in the trial against Anders Behring Breivik.
While the Court Medical Commission approved the controversial first psychiatric report without any comments, it requested additional information from the second pair of psychiatrists who concluded that Breivik is legally accountable for his actions. Specifically, the commission requested further discussion regarding Breivik’s youth and how contradictory evidence has been weighted.
After the psychiatrists Agnar Aspaas and Terje Tørrissen submitted the additional information, the commission issued a statement that it acknowledged the response, and requested that the two psychiatrists provide further information in court.
Now, according to Verdens Gang (VG), co-judge Arne Lyng has taken the unusual step of sending a letter to the commission asking it to clarify whether the report has been approved or not. The question of legal accountability is the main question for the court to decide.
On Friday, June 1, the court received a response from the commission. According to VG, Judge Wenche Arntzen stated that the court interprets the letter as meaning the commission still has two objections to the report. One of Breivik’s lawyers, Tord Jordet, says to NRK: “There is no clear conclusion. The commission has sent a long letter, there are many words, but it is a bit difficult to understand. The commission has neither approved or disapproved the report,” he says to NRK.
Before the trial began, Health Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen (Labor) attempted to rush through legislation that would make it legal in Norway to establish one-man psychiatric hospitals which could be used to house prisoners, including political dissenters, who are considered a security threat.
Most psychiatrists and political commentators following the trial, however, seem to be of the opinion that Breivik does not appear in court as described by the first psychiatric report, which was as a low-functioning, psychotic, paranoid schizophrenic. To the contrary, most court observers report that Breivik appears composed, well spoken and reflective.
* Geir Lippestad: violation of the law
* Terje Tørrissen: “Unclear for many”
* Yvonne Mette Larsen questions the Commission’s impartiality
In a remarkable letter asking judges in terror case The forensic Commission clarify whether the recent psychiatric report is approved or not.
The Commission’s statement of 21 May, and rumblings in the media from Commission members, has created uncertainty about what is the outcome of their review of the additional declaration to Agnar Aspaas and Terje Tørrissen, the two recently appointed of four experts in the terror case.
Defender Geir Lippestad think it would be a violation of the Criminal Procedure Act, it is not clear whether the Commission has approved the report or not.
The Commission shall enter and witness first on the trial fourth last day.
Lippestad think it must be clarified as soon as possible, the second report is good fishing or not.
“We must know in good time before these witnesses shall be the court, so we can prepare ourselves and possibly consider new evidence means,” said Lippestad….
Original article: Retten ber kommisjonen om forklaring
Letter from the Court Medical commission [in Norwegian - opens pdf]
In what appears to be a political decision, the Oslo District Court (Tingrett) has announced that it will only permit the public broadcast of a selection of the expert witnesses in the trial against Anders Behring Breivik. While the most well known expert witnessses with a left-wing ideology will be allowed to be broadcast on national television, equivalent expert witnesses representing the political right, such as the well known blogger Fjordman, will not be permitted to be broadcast.
The decision does not come as a suprise. So far during the trial, the court has not appeared concerned about being perceived as biased. For example, the court denied Breivik’s testimony to be broadcast while at the same time allowing the broadcast of the prosecutors’ accusations against him. The court has also placed little emphasis on the tradition common in democracies in which regular citizens can follow trials in order to check the integrity of the court.
Both the Justice Department and the Supreme Court were victims of the bomb attack in Oslo. The 900kg bomb was placed right outside the Justice Department and the offices were completely destroyed by the explosion. Four members of staff were killed on 7/22, three in Oslo and one while attending the Labor Youth camp at Utøya.
Breivik has stated in court that he does not recognize the Oslo District Court as legitimate because he believes the court receives its authority from the Labor Party.
Google translation [edited for clarity]:
The right-wing journalist Ole Jørgen Anfindsen considering refusing to testify after the judges in terror trial has determined that his testimony should not be broadcast. “They create an A-and B-layers based on ideology,” he said.
“I have come into a situation where I seriously doubt I’m willing to stand as a witness,” said he NRK.no after it became known that the judges will not allow his testimony in the trial of Anders Breivik Behring broadcast.
Also Arne Tumyr, head of the organization Stop the Islamization of Norway, reacts strongly to news that his testimony does not seem to be on TV anyway.
“As it now stands, there is a severe censorship, there is a legal assault, it is to withhold information from the public,” he said.
Viewers will see fewer testimony
Friday came Oslo District Court with a new decision about which witnesses can be broadcast and not. Since the court has previously determined that Breivik’s comments on the testimony can not be broadcast, the judges decided that neither the testimony of the officers or observers from Dikemark could be sent on TV.
The rationale was that it would create a distorted impression in the media if the statements were sent to the witnesses on television, while Breivik’s statements were not shown….
But when they lists the witnesses who can be broadcast (see fact box to the right in case), several defense witnesses voter omitted.
Tumyr and Anfindsen is far from the only one.
According to the information now is available on the website of the Oslo District Court , should not the testimony of Peder Jensen Nøstvold [Fjordman] broadcast. The same applies to Islamist Mullah Krekar and Mohyeldeen Muhammad, the Islam critical writer Bruce Bawer, a former Norwegian Defense League leader Ronny Alte, filmmaker Walid al-Kubaisi, neo-Nazis Tore Tvedt and peace researcher Johan Galtung.
NRK has been in contact with the Oslo City Court, which currently can not provide a clear answer as to why some of the witnesses can be broadcast, while the witnesses in the same category can not….
According to Ole Jørgen Anfindsen bears the character of the court’s decision that the judges have separated the witnesses for ideology.
“They divide the witnesses into the A-team and B team,” said he NRK.no.
Informaticians HonestThinking runs the website and in the book “Suicide paradigm”, he writes that immigration and racial mixing will take the life of the western civilization. After 22 in July he told NRK.no that he wants to downplay the rhetoric of fear to inspire potential rightwing terrorists.
Anfindsen saw it as a personal burden to be called as a witness by the defense to Breivik. Nevertheless, he told the defenders that he wants his testimony to be broadcast on television. For him, it is important that the public can view the entire testimony – without being edited by others.
“Broadcast of witness statements ensure transparency, and also help to prevent misunderstandings that might otherwise arise,” says Anfindsen.
Original article: Frykter dommerne sensurerer kontroversielle vitner
Court decision [in Norwegian - opens pdf]
Related post: Leadership of the Norwegian Justice Department resigns