A brother of one of the victims of Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik threw a shoe at him in court yesterday, the first time the trial has been interrupted by a public outburst. “Go to hell, go to hell, you killed my brother,” the man screamed from the second row of the public gallery as he hurled the shoe at Breivik a few metres away.
The shoe missed Breivik but struck his co-defence lawyer, Vibeke Hein Baera, who was seated closest to the public gallery, during the presentation of an autopsy report. Police described the thrower as the brother of one of Breivik’s victims, but the man’s name was not immediately available. Some in the courtroom applauded, or uttered the word “finally”, and others started to cry.
The shoe thrower was removed by police. Police numbers were boosted in the court after the incident. “If anyone wants to throw something, you can throw at me when I’m entering or leaving the court,” Breivik was quoted by local media as saying after the incident.
“Don’t throw things at my lawyers.”
The incident came during a week of harrowing testimony from survivors of Breivik’s gun rampage across the small island of Utoeya last July, where the ruling Labour Party was holding a youth camp. He killed 69 people there, many of them teenagers.“We regard this as a spontaneous emotional outburst that happened in the courtroom,” said Rune Bjoersvik, the police officer in-charge of police operations in the court.
“He (the shoe-thrower) was in court and he had prepared himself emotionally to be there, but the emotions took over, which is understandable. We wish it hadn’t happened, but we don’t regard this a dramatic breach of safety.” Breivik has admitted the killings, but denies criminal responsibility. He says he was defending Norwegian ethnic purity from Muslim immigration and the multiculturalism backed by the Labour Party.
Student looked in eyes of Norway killer
Before the trial was interrupted, few witnesses of the massacre came forward to testify against Breivik. A young Norwegian told the court trying mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik yesterday that he looked into the eyes of the killer before fleeing into the water around the island where 69 people, mostly teenagers, were gunned down last July. “I stood right in front of him and looked straight at him. I could see he has blue eyes,” said high school student Lars Henrik Oeberg. “Then the shots came.”