Norway attacker held in medical custody amid psychological well being doubts

A Norway courtroom has ordered the person who confessed to killing 5 individuals in a bow-and-arrow assault to be held in detention in a medical facility, as questions mounted about his psychological well being.

Espen Andersen Brathen, a Danish citizen who transformed to Islam and was identified to police, can be held for an preliminary interval of 4 weeks, the primary two in complete isolation, decide Ann Mikalsen dominated on Friday.

A full psychiatric analysis – which may take a number of months, in line with the prosecutor – is critical to find out whether or not Brathen might be held legally answerable for his actions.

“This indicates that things are not exactly as they should be,” his lawyer, Fredrik Neumann stated referring to his shopper’s psychological well being.

“A complete judicial assessment will clarify that,” he instructed Norwegian each day VG.

Brathen was not current in courtroom on Friday, having not contested the detention request.

“There is no doubt that (it) appears as if it could be an act of terror, but it’s important that the investigation continues and that we establish the motive of the suspect,” the pinnacle of Norway’s intelligence service PST, Hans Sverre Sjovold, instructed a information convention on Thursday.

“This is a person who has been in and out of the health system for some time,” Sjovold stated.

Known to police beforehand over fears he had been “radicalised”, Brathen has confessed to the killings in questioning, police stated.

Four girls and one man had been killed and three individuals injured in Wednesday night time’s assault. Police stated a bow and arrow and different undisclosed weapons had been used earlier than he was arrested.

“He has told us why he did it but we can’t say anything publicly about his motives at this stage,” prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen instructed AFP on Thursday.

The suspect was identified to PST, which is in control of Norway’s anti-terrorism efforts, however few particulars have emerged about why.

“There were fears linked to radicalisation previously,” police official Ole Bredrup Saeverud instructed reporters.

Those experiences had been earlier than this 12 months, and police stated that they had adopted up on the time.

History of violence

Norwegian media reported that Brathen was topic to 2 prior courtroom rulings, together with a restraining order towards him concerning his mother and father after threatening to kill his father, and a conviction for housebreaking and buying narcotics in 2012.

Local media additionally unearthed a video Brathen allegedly posted to social media in 2017, by which he issued a “warning” and declared his Muslim religion.

Speaking anonymously, certainly one of Brathen’s neighbours described him as a giant individual with a crew reduce and a critical manner, who was at all times seen “alone”.

“No smile, nothing in the face. He was just staring,” the neighbour instructed AFP.

Brathen is believed to have acted alone within the lethal assault, carried out in a number of places in Kongsberg, the place he lived.

Norway’s Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store, who took workplace on Thursday following current elections, was on Friday anticipated to go to the city of 25,000 individuals.

Flowers and candles had been positioned in entrance of the varied crime scenes.

Svein Westad, a 75-year-old pensioner, wandered aimlessly on Hyttegata, a road the place two of his neighbours and shut mates had been killed of their houses.

“I’m totally broken into pieces, I cannot say anything more than that. I will never get over this,” he instructed AFP.

“They should have caught him immediately,” he stated, referring to criticism towards the police for arresting Brathen 30 minutes after the primary experiences got here in.

Norway not often experiences such violence, however 10 years in the past Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 individuals in a far-right assault, the nation’s worst bloodbath since World War II.