It’s not exactly the way you’d expect things to shake out: Prosecutors want Anders Breivik ruled criminally insane — but the confessed killer’s own lawyers say he knew what he was doing.
In closing arguments after a gruelling trial the defence said Breivik was not a psychotic mass murderer but a political militant motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology.
As the 33-year-old told the court he had acted against what he saw as a ‘multiculturalist hell’, around 30 people staged a walkout at Oslo District Court.
Victims support group member Christian Bjelland told Norwegian media: “He has a right to talk. We have no duty to listen.”
Earlier the court was moved to tears when the mother of one of Breivik’s victims described the grief she felt at clearing her daughter’s room and spending her first Christmas without her.
“I am not going to be afraid of this man. I decided I would go to court. I felt I owed it to Hanne,” Kirsti Loevlie said of her 30-year-old daughter.
Breivik killed 77 people and injured 242 others in a bomb and gun rampage in and around Oslo last July.
He has admitted carrying out the attacks but denied criminal responsibility, saying the attacks were in self-defence against what he saw as the takeover of Europe by Muslims, making his sanity the key issue for the trial.
“That little, safe Norway would be hit by such a terror attack is almost impossible to understand,” chief defence lawyer Geir Lippestad told Oslo District Court, offering his explanation for why two pre-trial psychiatric assessments had reached different conclusions on Breivik.
Yesterday, prosecution lawyers called on Breivik to be declared insane and committed to psychiatric care. Judges announced at the end of the trial that they would deliver a verdict on August 24.