Court Medical Commission appears not to have approved second psychiatric report
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]