Breivik's private gym: what's with luxury prison time?


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.



Norway's Anders Behring Breivik? Private gym. America's Bernie Madoff? Laundry service. Ukraine's Yulia Tymoshenko? Home-cooked meals from Mom.

Yes, all three are behind bars. (Or Tymoshenko will be, once she's out of the hospital.)

Seems the more prominent you are, the more likely you're going to have posh prison life. Hold on, criminals are people too, some argue, and it's okay to give them humane living conditions. But critics say these folks need a little more tough love.

Meanwhile, Breivik's court appearance today saw a five-panel court of judges declare him sane, extending his current stay at Oslo's Ila Prison by 21 years with the possibility of more if necessary, reported BBC News

Thus, many Norwegians are weighing the potentially decades-long prison costs to be incurred by the 33-year-old, who has confessed to killing 77 people in a combined shooting rampage and bomb attack last year. 

Today's decision returns Breivik to his private suite at Oslo's Ila Prison -- three separate eight square-meter rooms that include an exercise room with a treadmill, a TV, and a laptop-equipped office, according to SKY.

Wow, sounds almost as good as Tymoshenko's former prison digs -- also three rooms, outfitted with a fridge and even declared lice-free in deference to the former prime minister's trademark braids, according to a report last year by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Daisy Sindelar.

Tymoshenko is currently in the hospital for back problems while serving a seven-year sentence for allegedly corrupt gas deals made during her time in office. Many have observed that her detainment comes in awfully handy her former rival and current president President Viktor Yanukovych, however, and her case has received widespread attention. 

But probably not quite as much as the attention paid to ex-business tycoon Bernie Madoff, whose prison time was recently given a six-page spread in New York Magazine. (Highlights for the former Ponzi scheme jailbird: lots of autograph requests, laundry service for only eight bucks a month, mac and cheese dinners, plenty of time for reading John Grisham and Dean Koontz -- via The Daily Beast.)

Anyway, going back to Breivik, not everyone's pleased about the gym situation, with Norwegian Thomas Indreboe telling SKY, "the money could have been spent on other things."

More from GlobalPost: Norway shooting report: Breivik could have been stopped sooner

But Olso prison spokeswoman Ellen Bjercke defended the decision, saying: "I like to put it this way: he's a human being. He has human rights. This is about creating a humane prison regime," she said, according to BBC. As for his three-room cell, it was provided in  "compensation" for being denied other activities, she told to the Associated Press

Breivik has admitted to orchestrating a car bomb attack that killed eight people in Oslo and them gunning down 69 people taking part in a summer camp on Utoya island as part of an anti-Muslim campaign, violence that traumatized the nation. 

Norway does not have the death penalty.