Norway terror attack: Prosecutors demand 21-year jail sentence for mosque shooting

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By Matthew Holroyd  with AFP
Philip Manshaus, 22, is on trial for "homicide" and a "terrorist act".
Philip Manshaus, 22, is on trial for "homicide" and a "terrorist act".   -  Copyright  AP Pool via TV2

Norwegian prosecutors have sought a 21-year prison sentence for a right-wing extremist who is alleged to have opened fire outside a mosque near Oslo last year.

Philip Manshaus, 22, is on trial for "homicide" and a "terrorist act".

He is accused of killing his half-sister and committing an attempted shooting in Bareum in August.

"He seems likely to be dangerous over a very long period of time," prosecutor Johan Øverberg said on the last day of the trial on Wednesday.

The Norwegian Public Prosecutors Office also argue that the alleged murder of his 17-year-old half-sister, Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, was a "planned execution" and had "racist motivations".

The requested prison sentence has a minimum detention period of 14 years and can be extended indefinitely if the convicted person is deemed to be dangerous.

Norwegian courts do not issue life sentences.

Philip Manshaus' defence has asked for an acquittal, arguing that there are doubts over the accused's criminal responsibility and that he had a "rather paranoid perception of the world".

"If the court finds him irresponsible, he can be sentenced to forced psychiatric care," said defence counsel Unni Fries.

During the trial, three experts had found Manshaus criminally responsible.

On 10 August 2019, a suspect wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet camera opened fire at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre, without causing serious injuries, before being subdued by worshippers.

There were only three people inside the mosque preparing for Eid celebrations at the time of the shooting.

Police later found the body of his adopted half-sister, of Chinese origin, who had been shot four times in their home.

Prosecutors say Manshaus "wanted to kill as many Muslims as possible" and have stressed that the accused shows no remorse.

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg called it a “direct attack on Norwegian Muslims”.

A verdict is expected on the trial next week.