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Homeland Security

Defense Lawyer Says Norway Terror Suspect Appears Insane

VOA News July 26, 2011

The defense lawyer for Norwegian terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik says the case suggests his client is insane.

During a news conference in Oslo, defense attorney Geir Lippestad said Breivik is not aware of the death toll or the public response to the attacks Friday that left 76 people dead. Lippestad told reporters it is too early to say if his client would plead insanity.

Breivik has confessed to the bombing in the capital and a shooting rampage at a camp for young people, but has pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges, claiming he acted to save Europe from what he says is Muslim colonization.

Lippestad said his client told him he took drugs to be "strong, efficient, awake." The lawyer added Breivik claims to be part of an anti-Islam network that has two groups in Norway and several more abroad. But Norwegian police and researchers have cast doubt on such claims.

Earlier, Norway Justice Minister Knut Storberget praised police for their response to the attacks Friday, saying officers did "fantastic" work.

His comments follow criticism in the media about how long it took police to reach the camp on Utoeya Island, where Breivik is accused of killing at least 68 people. Police have said it took more than an hour for officers to get to the site.

The suspect's father, retired diplomat Jens Breivik, told reporters in France that he feels shame and wishes his son had killed himself instead.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.



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