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Norway's justice minister expects changes to penal system

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Norway's justice minister expects changes to penal system


Norway’s Justice Minister has been defending the country’s penal system amid criticisms there should be tougher sentences for such serious crimes.

There have been calls for Breivik to face crimes against humanity charges which would add an extra eight years to the 21 years in jail he is currently facing for murder.

“There will be changes of course, but the government has been very clear that Norway is going to be recognised as an open and free democracy, as it is,” said Knut Storberget, Norway’s Justice Minister.

Oslo resident Arno Rasmussen said Breivik’s actions were beyond penalty: “I don’t think there really is a punishment that matches the cruelty and evil of this man. We have the laws, we have the regime for this and it’s up to the courts to really decide his punishment.”

Others in Oslo appear equally determined that the actions of one man will not change their way of life. Shop assistant Helene Gundersen said she was concerned about returning to work: “Today I’m anxious, yes. Not looking forward to it. But I’ll make it. He’s not going to control my life. I’m a little bit afraid. I work very close by to the government building where it happened, so I keep hearing the explosion in my head.”

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