OSLO (Reuters) - The Norwegian on trial for killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage railed at psychiatrists who diagnosed him as psychotic, saying on Wednesday their report contained “evil, fictional inventions”.
“The person described in that report is not me,” he said on the eighth day of his trial on terrorism and murder charges.
“If I had just read it, I would say that person belongs in a madhouse.”
Anders Behring Breivik, 33, admits killing eight people with a car bomb at government offices in Oslo, then gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at an island summer camp of the ruling Labour Party, in what he has described as a counter-attack against multiculturalism.
He has pleaded not guilty, claiming “emergency rights” to defend Norway and Europe against waves of Muslim immigration that he blames on left-leaning “traitors”.
He said last week he had hoped to kill hundreds and to decapitate a former prime minister and film the act, a plan he said was inspired by al Qaeda.
Two court-appointed psychiatric teams have examined Breivik and come to opposite conclusions about his mental health, and the five-judge trial panel will ultimately decide.
He insisted on Wednesday he was of sound mind.
“These are not just misunderstandings - they are evil, fictional inventions to support their assumptions,” he said of a 240-page report by experts Torgeir Husby and Synne Soerheim.
He said the two had been “emotionally shaken” by his acts and decided at the outset to call him insane. In a written comment to the court he said they might have been pressured by Norway’s government to keep his ideology from getting out.
Their report, diagnosing Breivik as a paranoid schizophrenic suffering from psychosis, was contradicted earlier this month by a second team of experts. Psychiatrist Agnar Aspaas said he and a colleague had found “no evidence” of psychosis.
The two psychiatric teams were arrayed in front of Breivik as he spoke, and quizzed him gently. He accused Soerheim of trying to “trick” him with a question but said he now doubted that she was part of a systematic attempt to discredit him.
“I think that you couldn’t comprehend that a normal person could do something like that,” he said. “You think that a person who does something like that... must be sick.”
The psychiatrists have refused to speak with reporters during the trial. Breivik’s lawyers have said their priority is to gain a sanity ruling.
“If I had been a bearded jihadist, there wouldn’t have been any psychiatrists whatsoever,” Breivik said on Monday.
If judged sane he could get 21 years in prison with possible extensions. Otherwise he is likely to be sentenced to indefinite psychiatric detention - a fate he has called “worse than death”.
Breivik repeated on Wednesday that he had been part of a secretive “Knights Templar” sect that shares his views, a claim Husby and Soerheim called “a bizarre, grandiose delusion” in their report.
“The background for the killings are his paranoid psychotic delusions that he is a participant in a civil war where he is responsible for deciding who lives and dies,” their report said.
“His mission is to save the entire western world’s culture and genes.”
Breivik complained they had taken his statements about militant nationalist doctrine and tactics out of context to make him seem “absurd and unintelligent”.
The more recent report, concluding Breivik was not psychotic, has not been made public. Earlier this week a review commission asked the authors to substantiate whether Breivik had adjusted his behavior to try to fool them.
Thousands plan to gather in Oslo on Thursday to sing a children’s song calling for fraternity and peace, as a protest against Breivik. He once called the song Marxist brainwashing.
Editing by Andrew Roche