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Kill me or free me -- Breivik's dock demand

THE right-wing fanatic on trial for massacring 77 people in Norway says he wants either freedom or death.

He called the country's prison terms "pathetic" and argued for the return of capital punishment, which was last used in the country to execute Nazi collaborators after World War Two.

In the third day of his terror trial, Anders Behring Breivik was grilled by prosecutors about the anti-Muslim militant group he claims to belong to.

He rejected their suggestions that the 'Knights Templar' doesn't exist, but admitted he had embellished when describing the network in a 1,500-page manifesto he published online before the bomb-and-shooting rampage on July 22.

"In principle it is not an organisation in a conventional sense," he said, describing it as a leaderless network consisting of "independent cells".

Prosecutors told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that they don't believe the group is real or that the meetings Breivik claims took place in Liberia, Britain and the Baltic countries ever happened.

The issue is of key importance in determining Breivik's sanity, and whether he's ultimately sent to prison or compulsory psychiatric care for carrying out Norway's worst peacetime massacre.

If found sane, Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society. If declared insane he would be committed to psychiatric care for as long as he's considered ill.

"Acquittal or the death penalty are the only logical outcomes of this case," he said. "I view 21 years in prison pathetic.

Norway abolished capital punishment in peacetime in 1905 but retained it for war crimes until 1979. After World War Two, Norway executed 24 Norwegians, 13 Germans and one Dane. The last execution was in 1948.

hnews@herald.ie


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