News / World

AFP
Wire Service
2 minute read
15 Oct 2021
9:57 am

Bow-and-arrow Norway killer undergoing psychiatric evaluation

AFP

A psychiatric evaluation began on Thursday, which is expected to take up to several months.

Flowers and candles are placed at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Kongsberg attack on Stortorvet in Kongsberg, Norway, on 15 October 2021. The man who killed five people in the bow-and-arrow attack on 13 October 2021 has been handed over to health services, the prosecution said, amid speculation he may have mental health issues. Picture: Terje Bendiksby/NTB/AFP

The man who killed five people in a  bow-and-arrow attack in Norway this week has been handed over to health services, the prosecution said Friday, amid speculation he may have mental health issues.

“He was handed over to health services on Thursday evening after an evaluation of his health condition,” prosecutor Ann Iren Svane Mathiassen told AFP.

Doubts have arisen about the mental health of the man identified as Danish citizen Espen Andersen Brathen, and whether he can be held legally responsible for the attack.

He has confessed to the killings.

A psychiatric evaluation began on Thursday, which was expected to take up to several months.

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Meanwhile, a judge was to decide later Friday whether to hold Brathen in detention. The prosecution has asked for him to be held for four weeks, the first two in isolation.

If the judge grants the prosecution’s request, he would not be jailed but rather held in medical care, the prosecutor said.

While police have said the attack was probably an act of terror, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of mental health problems.

“There is no doubt that the actual act 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 head of Norway’s intelligence service PST, Hans Sverre Sjovold, told a news conference on Thursday.

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