News In Depth
Breivik wants 'sane' trial verdict
Right-wing fanatic Anders Breivik has gone on trial over the murders of 77 people in a case that will decide whether he is evil or insane.
The 33-year-old admitted the bomb and gun attack in Norway last summer, but entered a plea of not guilty claiming the slaughter was in self-defence.
He claims he targeted the government headquarters in Oslo and an island youth camp to strike against the left-leaning political forces he blames for allowing immigration in Norway.
If deemed mentally competent, Breivik would face a maximum prison sentence of 21 years or an alternate custody arrangement under which the sentence is prolonged for as long as an inmate is deemed a danger to society.
If found to be insane he will be held in a secure mental hospital.
Legal experts said in either case it is virtually certain he will never be released.
Breivik wants to be judged as sane and will call radical Islamists, and extremists on the right and left to give evidence to support "his perception that there is a war going on in Europe," his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told the Oslo court.
Having entered and performed a far-right outstretched arm salute, Breivik rejected the authority of the court as it sought to assign responsibility for the attacks.
"I don't recognize Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism," Breivik said in his first comments to the court.
Eight people were killed in Breivik's bombing of Oslo's government district and 69 died in his shooting massacre at the left-leaning Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya island outside the capital. Breivik has said the attacks were necessary to protect Norway from being taken over by Muslims.
"I admit to the acts, but not criminal guilt," he told the court, insisting he had acted in self-defence.
Breivik also announced he does not recognize the authority of Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen, because he said she is friends with the sister of former Norwegian Prime Minister and Labor Party leader Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The anti-Muslim militant described himself as a writer, currently working from prison, when asked by the judge for his employment status.
During the opening session he remained stone-faced and motionless as prosecutors read the indictment on the terror and murder charges, with descriptions of how each victim died, and when they explained how he prepared for the attacks.
But Breivik suddenly became emotional when prosecutors showed an anti-Muslim video that he had posted on YouTube before the killing spree, wiping away tears on his cheek with trembling hands.
After a lunch break, Breivik was again expressionless as he watched prosecutors present surveillance footage of the Oslo explosion. The blast ripped through the high-rise building that housed government headquarters, blowing out windows and filling surrounding streets with smoke and debris.
He did not flinch as prosecutors played a three-minute recording of a young woman's frantic phone call to police from Utoya.
"Shots have been fired," Renate Taarnes, 22, said with panic in her voice. "I'm pretty sure that there are many injured."
More than a dozen shots in close succession could be heard as Taarnes fell silent.
"Are you still there?" the police officer asked.
"Yes," she whispered. She fell silent again, breathing into the phone as more shots cracked in the background.
Ms Taarnes escaped the massacre unharmed and is due to give evidence.
Police sealed off the streets around the Oslo court building, where journalists, survivors and relatives of victims watched the proceedings Monday in a 200-seat courtroom built specially for the trial.
Thick glass partitions were put up to separate Breivik from victims and their families, many of whom are worried that he will use the trial to promote his extremist political ideology.
After he surrendered, Breivik had told investigators he was a resistance fighter in a far-right militant group modelled after the Knights Templar - a Christian order that fought during the crusades. Police, however, have found no trace of any organization and say he acted alone.
"In our opinion, such a network does not exist," prosecutor Svein Holden told the court.
After blowing up parts of the government building and shooting dozens to death on Utoya island, Breivik surrendered to police 1 hour and 20 minutes after he arrived on Utoya. The police response to his terror spree was slowed by a series of mishaps, including the lack of an operating police helicopter and the breakdown of an overloaded boat carrying a commando team to the island.
Breivik called police twice, saying he wanted to turn himself in. In one of the calls, played in court, he identified himself as a commander of "the Norwegian resistance movement" and said he had "just completed an operation on behalf of Knights Templar."
When the operator asked him to repeat himself, Breivik sounded irritated and hung up.
The hearing resumes on Tuesday.
what do you think?
Must be slightly mad killing those poor people in cold blood.
He is as nutty as a fruit cake! Hope he gets all that is coming to him.
fruit cake--- youve just reminded what to have with me cup of coffee--cheers
mad hatter - jail is to good for him.
No he is not insane ,he is a bitter right-wing bigot whom there are many in Europe they want the Fascists back in power . East European countries who helped Hitler in the last war are again stomping their jack boots encouraging Fascism.NEVER AGAIN.
Usually, people who are psychopathic mass murderers have a tendency to point their fist at people, especially in public photographs but most of them have letters inscribed or written on their knuckles. The normal psychopathic tendency is to have the word, "Kill" written along each knuckle. "Hate" is another word those types like to write along each knuckle. The very fact that nothing at all is written along his knuckles, seems very strange, considering all the news photographs I've seen during the course of a few decades.
How on Earth can he plead 'not guilty' sanely? He is said to have surrendered to police while shooting young, unarmed, innocent young people and to have admitted his actions. So why be daft enough to allow him a show trial - broadcast all over the world on a silly plea? It just gives him and his kind the oxygen of publicity and credibility they crave. If fanatics see him getting all that publicity, they will want to emulate him. I watched the news report and as he entered the court room, officials and lawyers queued up to bow toward him and to shake his hand! Ugh! I would not want to shake those hands! His plea should have been rejected and a guilty plea made on his behalf and then the court could have retired to consider his sentence. Norway is letting down the victim's and their relatives by their handling of this case.
There is a fine line between insanity and genius!!