Mass murder suspect defends actions
05:33 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Breivik accused of killing 77 people in Norway last summer in bomb and gun rampage

Potential sentence hinges on whether court finds Breivik sane or insane at time of killings

Breivik's trial will be partly televised and is expected to last up to 10 weeks

Expert: Breivik could one day walk free after serving sentence

CNN  — 

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer, is under way in Oslo.

In a new courtroom specially built in the Norwegian capital for the trial, judges will consider whether Breivik was insane at the time of the killings, and whether he should be sent to prison or a mental facility for his crimes.

What is Breivik charged with?

The 33-year-old Norwegian man is facing charges of voluntary homicide and committing acts of terror. He is accused of setting off a bomb in central Oslo that killed eight people, then fatally shooting 69 people at a youth camp run by the ruling Labour Party on nearby Utoya Island on July 22, 2011.

Who decides Breivik’s fate?

The current trial is in front of what is called the court of first instance, says Jon T. Johnsen, Professor of Law at the University of Oslo.

The court has no jury, but is instead made up of two professional judges and three “lay judges” – members of the public that are chosen for the case just as members of a traditional jury would be – that have the same powers as the professional judges do.