Mass Killer Breivik's Cell Has Private Gym

Trygve Sorvaag, in Oslo
Mass Killer Breivik's Cell Has Private Gym

Those hoping Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik will spend the rest of his days in a cramped cell will be disappointed when he is sentenced on Friday.

Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in a gun and bomb rampage last year, has been given no less than three prison cells in a separate wing at Oslo's Ila Prison.

If found mentally fit, he will return to the three eight square-metre rooms - a bedroom, exercise room kitted out with a treadmill, and an office with a laptop.

If declared insane, he will be the sole patient of a psychiatric ward built especially for him at the prison, with 17 staff on hand to treat him.

Norway's most dangerous prisoner has no access to the internet, but has been given an offline copy of online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The 33-year-old right-wing extremist used this computer to prepare for his trial, and reply to letters from supporters.

His quarters also have a steel toilet and sink, and are monitored around the clock by specially trained staff via CCTV cameras.

All the furniture is firmly fixed to the floor and ceiling to prevent him using them as weapons.

Ila prison decided not to release pictures of his bedroom to spare his privacy.

The spacious set-up is a result of the particularly high security regime he has been placed under.

He has no contact with other prisoners, and has his own outdoor exercise yard measuring between 20 and 30 square metres, where he can spend an hour each day.

The yard is surrounded by high concrete walls and barbed wire to stop him escaping or seeing other prisoners.

Prison bosses say he will stay there for as long as he is deemed a high security threat.

But they hope to eventually transfer him to a section with other prisoners, who have access to a school, library, and gym.

The special measures are justified because he presents a security risk that Norway's prison system does not have the infrastructure to deal with, they say.
But many Norwegians disagree.
"To do that for just one person, when there are other things in Norway that need to be taken care of, like elderly care and roads and such things - the money could have been spent on other things," says Thomas Indreboe.

He was removed as a lay judge in the case when he called for Breivik to be executed to save "taxpayers from unnecessary expenditures".

Ellen Bjercke, a spokeswoman for Ila Prison, defended the expenditure, saying: "He's a human being. He has human rights. This is about creating a humane prison regime."

During his trial, Breivik coolly described how he set off a car bomb that killed eight people and injured dozens more in Oslo's government district on July 22 last year.

Then he went on a shooting rampage, killing 69 people, mostly teenagers, at a summer camp. The youngest victim was 14.