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Anders Behring Breivik 'drugged' throughout Norway massacre

Anders Behring Breivik took a cocktail of stimulants before he killed 77 people in Oslo and Utoeya last year, an expert witness has told his trial.

Anders Behring Breivik 2012 4 16Enlarge
Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last year, looks on at the opening of his trial in Oslo district courtroom on April 16, 2012. (HEIKO JUNGE/AFP/Getty Images)

Anders Behring Breivik was under the effects of drugs while he carried out a massacre in Norway last year, his trial heard today.

A forensic toxicologist has testified that Breivik had taken a cocktail of stimulants before launching his July 22 attacks in Oslo and on Utoeya island, the BBC reported.

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"You can say that he was lightly to moderately drugged by a centrally stimulating substance," Professor Joerg Moerland told the court in Oslo.

Breivik told Moerland he had taken a mixture of ephedrine, caffeine and aspirin (ECA). According to Agence France Presse, the mix is illegal in Norway, the US and other countries, but is favored by bodybuilders as a stimulant and weight-loss aid.

"I had made it myself with the help of three ingredients and the dosage was about 50 percent stronger than commercial products," the defendant was quoted as saying. He said the drugs were supposed to give "better physical and mental performance."

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Breivik also said he experimented with ECA and anabolic steroids in the months leading up to the attacks. 

It is possible that the substances could have affected Breivik's state of mind during the massacre, Moerland said, noting that steroids can increase aggressiveness while ephedrine can boost self-confidence and risk-taking.

The professor said he believed the effects of the drugs were limited, however, according to AFP.

Breivik's trial will seek to establish whether or not he is sane and can be held criminally responsible for the killings, which will decide whether he goes to prison or a psychiatric facility. Psychiatrists have given differing diagnoses.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120531/anders-behring-breivik-drugged-norway-massacre-trial