No Norway trial before next year: prosecutor


Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik will not be brought to trial before next year, the country’s top prosecutor said Thursday, ruling out the laying of formal charges until at least January.
“We hope that we can conduct the court trial in the course of next year,” the king’s general prosecutor Tor Aksel Busch — the country’s highest legal officer — told public broadcasters NRK.
The indictment for the 32-year-old, in solitary custody after acknowledging responsibility for 76 deaths in a shooting spree and bomb attacks, “will not be ready before the end of the year,”
“That’s the starting point,” he said. “And then, we’ll see how long we will need next year.” Acting prosecutor Ingunn Fossgard told AFP on Thursday that given the “huge and demanding investigation, the police need time.”
Police have so far cited the law on terrorism as the basis for possible charges, provoking public uproar given that the longest likely sentence would be 21 years — amounting to just weeks for every one of Behring Breivik’s victims.
But prosecutor Christian Hatlo said this week that police are also envisaging charging him with “crimes against humanity” for the bombing of Oslo’s government district and the shooting of participants in a youth camp on a nearby island. A conviction on this charge would carry a 30-year sentence.
“All possibilities are being explored,” Fossgard said.
Meanwhile, Norwegian police said they have ended a six-day search for the last of those missing around Utoeya island, where 68 people were killed in a gun rampage.
“I can confirm that the search around Utoeya has now ended,” Johan Fredriksen, a leading Olso police official, told a press conference, a day after a television report said there was just one person still unaccounted for.
The police did not immediately say whether the decision altered the toll from Friday’s twin attacks, which sat at 76 with another eight victims taken from a downtown bombing of government offices. Neither did they give any information about the status of the search in the bombed area. Another TV station, public NRK, said Wednesday that police believed no-one was missing in the wreckage from the explosion, whereas previously the authorities had said they were checking for an unknown number of missing.