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The Exam

Listening to Anders Behring Breivik

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4.2/5 (14 ratings)

Documentary-maker: Ronan Kelly

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The Exam

In July 2011, Asbjorn Rachlew was on holidays with his family in rural Norway. He was suddenly called back to work.

His assignment was to participate in the interrogation of a suspect who had just been arrested on the island of Utoya. 69 people, mostly teenagers, had been shot dead there.

Rachlew is an Oslo police detective with a PhD in psychology. He's a specialist in interrogation but the decisions he and his team made in interviewing the suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, would be frowned upon by police in other countries,

With Norway and the whole world watching, Rachlew decided to use a softly, softly approach to Breivik. An approach in which the police showed him respect and empathy and tried to win his trust.

No thumping the table or threatening violence, instead a humanitarian attitude and openness towards Breivik. For his part, Breivik used some of the interview time to justify the killings by quoting from his racist, mysoginistic manifesto.

The Oslo police's approach angered local politicians who called for a more robust interrogation and a swift conviction for Breivik.

But Rachlew and his team persisted and conducted the painstaking interviews with the mass murderer for 9 months in all.

Finally, it was time for court and, not only was Breivik on trial, but so also was Norwegian respectful approach to dealing with a man regarded as a 'monster'.

In this short documentary, Asbjorn Rachlew tells the story of that interrogation of mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik.

Producer: Ronan Kelly

May 2013

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