Wednesday 21 March 2018

Norway in silence after mass murder suspect charged

Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle after leaving the courthouse. Photo: AP
Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle after leaving the courthouse. Photo: AP
Members of the public stand outside the court house as Anders Behring Breivik who confessed to Norway's worst act of terror appears in a closed court on July 25 in Oslo. Photo: Getty Images
Relatives gather to observe a minutes silence opposite Utoya Island, following Friday's twin extremist attacks. Photo: Getty Images
Thousands observe a minute's silence near the Blue Stone in Bergen on July 25 to pay solemn tribute to the victims of last week's twin bomb and shooting attacks that left 93 dead. Photo: Getty Images
A picture of killer Anders Behring Breivik from his manifesto
A survivor of a shooting rampage on the Utoeya island wears a wristband reading " Utoeya" breaks out in tears in front of a sea of flowers and candles following a memorial service in the Oslo cathedral July 24, 2011. Photo: Reuters reporters

Thousands of Norwegians held a minutes silence as the mass murder bomb attack and shooting suspect was charged with acts of terrorism.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has also claimed his extremist group has two more cells and said he was saving Europe from a Marxist and Muslim takeover.

He had requested a public hearing for his first appearance in court today but was refused by the state prosecutor over fears it could turn into a media circus.

There were also concerns that Mr Breivik could use the court to send signals to potential accomplices and compromise the overall investigation.

Initial beliefs that he acted alone lost further traction today after Polish police arrested a man following reports that Mr Breivik tried to buy chemicals in the central European country.

British Police are also investigating potential right-wing links there after the bomb and shooting attacks which killed an estimated 90 people in Oslo and on a nearby island on Friday.

The accused is likely to provide more information about the attacks in court.

The 32-year-old has admitted to the killings and said he carried out the attacks - the worst in Norway's postwar history - alone.

An eight day hearing will now take place.

In a 1,500-page manifesto published on the internet just prior to the attacks, Mr Breivik described how trials could form a "propaganda phase".

The manifesto - accompanied by a video - lists various "enemies", criticises multiculturalism and states how immigrants, especially Muslims, should be banished from Europe.

The massacre at the Utoya island targeted members attending a youth camp organised by the ruling Labour Party.

During questioning, Mr Breivik also said he had intended to shoot former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during her presentation on the island earlier in the afternoon but he was delayed, according to local reports.

Meanwhile, officials in Oslo now say the death toll from the Utoeya shootings has been revised down from 86 to 68, while the number of those killed in the Oslo bomb now stands at eight.

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