Under the gaze of survivors and the family members of those he killed Anders Behring Breivik callously wept as the film — which he put online on the day of the attacks — was played. But incredibly he showed no emotion when the chilling details of his 77 victims’ horrific injuries and deaths were read out.
The 12-minute film — an anti-Muslim video that he had posted on YouTube — was projected on a large screen and included photos and drawings of Islamists set to music. A lip-reading expert for Norwegian TV said Breivik told his lawyer, “I am OK. It is just an emotional film.” Breivik is accused of killing eight people in a car bomb attack in Oslo before slaughtering another 69 on a gun rampage at a youth camp on Utoeya Island. Breivik smiled as a guard removed his handcuffs in the crowded court room this morning.
The 33-year-old then flashed a closed-fist salute, before shaking hands with prosecutors and court officials. He told the court earlier that he did not recognise their authority as he pleaded not guilty to the massacre in Norway last July. He admitted he was behind the killings in the twin terror attacks but said that he carried them out in self defence. The public trial opened last morning at the Norwegian capital’s main district courtroom amid huge security and worldwide media attention.
Lead judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen started the proceedings, which are expected to focus on whether or not Breivik is sane. He has confessed to the killings but denies criminal responsibility saying the country’s Labour party is a “legitimate target” because it tolerates Muslims. He said, “I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt and I claim self-defence.”
Breivik said, “I do not recognise the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism.” Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh said, “The accused has committed serious crimes of a degree we have not seen in our country in modern times.” If deemed sane, he would face a maximum prison sentence of 21 years.
Victims’ families mourn their loss
Several family members of the victims cried quietly as they listened to the long reading of the list of victims. A survivor Vegard Groeslie Wennesland said, “Today the trial starts, and it will be a tough time. Last time I saw him in person he we was shooting my friends.”