Gunman surprised to be still alive, says lawyer
Published 27/07/2011 | 05:00
ANDERS Behring Breivik was "surprised" he was able to carry on shooting students on Utoya island for 90 minutes before police eventually caught up with him, his solicitor said yesterday, as he made clear he regarded his client as "insane".
Geir Lippestad said Breivik assumed he would be shot before he even got as far as Utoya, where he killed 68 young members of the Labour Party.
Norwegian police have been heavily criticised for their apparently slow response in getting officers to the island after they received the first reports of shots being fired.
Mr Lippestad said: "He was a little bit surprised that he succeeded. He was expecting to be stopped earlier.
"He thought he'd be killed after the bombing, after the action on the island, and he also thought he'd be killed at the trial."
Police confirmed that Breivik has been placed on suicide watch while psychiatrists assess his mental state.
But Mr Lippestad said he regarded his client as "insane", adding: "The whole case has indicated that he is insane."
Breivik had asked him how many people he had killed, which the lawyer refused to tell him, but had not shown any remorse for his victims.
Mr Lippestad said his client had pleaded not guilty to murder when he appeared in court on Monday because: "He believes that he is in a war and he believes that when you are in a war you can do things like that without pleading guilty.
"He looks upon himself as a warrior who has started a war and he takes some pride in that.
"He thinks the rest of the world don't understand his point of view but in 60 years' time we will all understand him."
He said Breivik had taken drugs before going on the rampage "to be strong, to be efficient, to keep him awake".
He added that Breivik, who has been charged with murder and terrorist offences, could also be charged with crimes against humanity, which would enable the courts to lock him up indefinitely.
The maximum sentence for the crimes he is currently charged with is 21 years.
Norway's intelligence agencies have also come under scrutiny after they admitted Breivik's name had been passed to them by Interpol in March after he bought a large quantity of chemicals from a Polish company.
But Janne Kristiansen, the head of the PST security police, said: "I don't think even Stasi Germany could have uncovered this person."
Lukasz Mikus, the chemist from whom Breivik bought materials for the bomb he detonated in Oslo, said: "Anders was only my customer but because of that I have a big mess. He was an absolutely normal customer with normal questions. There was nothing strange in his emails."
Last night international experts said that Norway's government and security forces must learn stark lessons.
"Children were being slaughtered for an hour-and-a-half and the police should have stopped it much sooner," said Mads Andenas, a law professor at the University of Oslo. (© Daily Telegraph, London)