| 10.7°C Dublin

Mass killer Breivik gives evidence

THE right-wing fanatic accused of murdering 77 people during a devastating bomb and gun attack in Norway last summer was today due to take the stand on the second day of his trial.

Anders Breivik planned to read a statement as he began giving evidence to an Oslo court.

The 33-year-old admits carrying out the massacre, but claims that it was in self-defence.

The key issue to be resolved during the trial is Breivik's mental state.

Breivik claims he is sane and targeted the government headquarters in Oslo and an island youth camp to strike against the left-leaning political forces which he blames for allowing immigration in Norway.

If deemed mentally competent, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 21 years or an alternate custody arrangement under which the sentence is prolonged for as long as an inmate is deemed a danger to society.

If found to be insane he will be held in a secure mental hospital.

Legal experts said in either case it is virtually certain he will never be released.

Breivik will call radical Islamists, and extremists on the right and left to give evidence to support "his perception that there is a war going on in Europe", his lawyer told the court at the start of the trial yesterday.

The anti-Muslim militant entered the court and gave an outstretched arm salute.

He then rejected the court's authority.

"I don't recognise Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism," he said.

Eight people were killed in Breivik's bombing of Oslo's government district and a further 69 died in his shooting massacre at the Labour Party's youth camp on Utoya Island outside the capital.

Breivik has said the attacks in July last year were necessary to protect Norway from being taken over by Muslims.

"I admit to the acts, but not criminal guilt," he told the court, insisting he had acted in self-defence.

He showed no signs of remorse, but began crying as prosecutors played an anti-Muslim propaganda video that he posted on YouTube before the attacks.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy