UK & World News
Breivik Defence Asks For 'Mild Punishment'
Anders Breivik's lawyer has urged judges not to declare the mass killer insane and punish him "as mildly as possible".
Breivik has admitted responsibility for a bomb blast that killed eight people in Oslo in addition to shooting dead 69 people on Utoya island last summer.
But the 33-year-old has pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming he acted in self-defence.
The 10-week trial in Oslo, which has now ended, will decide whether he receives a prison sentence or is declared legally insane and sent to a psychiatric facility.
Prosecutors say Breivik should be ruled insane and sent to a hospital, not prison.
But during his closing argument, defence lawyer Geir Lippestad asked the court to ignore the insanity claim and acquit his client.
"July 22 was an inferno of violence. But we must also look at how he carried out the attacks to see whether it was violence in itself or radical politics that was the cause," he said.
"He realised that it is wrong to kill but he chose to kill. That's what terrorists do.
"The ends justify the means. You don't understand this if you don't understand the culture of right-wing extremists."
Breivik also spoke on the last day of his trial, which prompted the families and survivors who were present in court to walk out in silent protest.
In a rambling statement he railed against non-ethnic Norwegians representing the country in the Eurovision song contest, and the sexually-liberated lifestyles characterised in the American TV show Sex And The City.
In the end, he claimed: "History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism.
"The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people. I therefore demand to be acquitted."
If the court comes to the conclusion that Breivik is insane, it will mean he avoids criminal responsibility for Norway's worst peacetime massacre.
The attacks at Norway's government headquarters and a youth summer camp would then not be considered acts of political terrorism, but the work of a blood-thirsty madman.
"We request that he is transferred to compulsory psychiatric care," prosecutor Svein Holden told the court in his closing arguments on Thursday.
Breivik, who styles himself as an anti-Muslim militant, claims he is sane and that his attacks were motivated by his political views.
The judges' verdict is expected on August 24.