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Unrepentant mass killer Anders Behring Breivik weeps for himself

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Breivik cries as he
watches an internet
film of himself. Photo: Reuters

Breivik cries as he watches an internet film of himself. Photo: Reuters

Anders Behring Breivik
gives a Nazi-style salute
as he arrives in court
for the first day of his
mass murder trial
yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Anders Behring Breivik gives a Nazi-style salute as he arrives in court for the first day of his mass murder trial yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Breivik cried in court as he watched the propaganda video he made.

Breivik cried in court as he watched the propaganda video he made.

Public prosecutor Svein Holden reacts as he addresses a news conference after the first day of the terrorism and murder trial against defendant Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik in a courtroom, in Oslo April 16, 2012.

Public prosecutor Svein Holden reacts as he addresses a news conference after the first day of the terrorism and murder trial against defendant Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik in a courtroom, in Oslo April 16, 2012.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

A projection screen displays pictures of equipment and materials used by Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

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Breivik cries as he watches an internet film of himself. Photo: Reuters

There was only one, dramatic moment when Anders Behring Breivik seemed to crack yesterday.

Dressed in a dark blue suit, Norway's mass murderer sat in Oslo's court 250 at the opening of his trial for the slaughter of 77 people yesterday looking impassive and chillingly defiant. Sometimes he even smirked.

But suddenly the 33-year-old killer's lips began to pucker. His chin quivered. Then tears welled in his eyes and as he wiped them away with trembling fingers, it became obvious that the man responsible for Norway's worst act of violence since World War Two was crying.

Was it a first sign of remorse? Not a bit of it. Breivik was overcome by emotion at the sound of his own voice.

He wept as he watched the prosecution's recording of his own propaganda film, which he posted on the internet hours before carrying out the twin acts of terrorism that have plunged Norway into the trauma from which it is still recovering. He told his lawyer later he found his film "emotional".

Claiming that he was engaged in a European war against Marxist multiculturalism and Muslim domination, Breivik detonated a massive fertiliser bomb in Oslo's government district on July 22 last year that killed eight people and injured many others.

Disguised as a police commando, he then travelled to the fjord island of Utoya where several hundred young members of Norway's ruling Labour Party were attending a summer camp.

Equipped with a rifle, grenades and a handgun, he then set about systematically slaughtering 69 mostly teenaged participants. Many were shot while they were in the water trying to escape. Some hid in trees. Scores more suffered horrific injuries.

But yesterday the self-confessed mass killer tried to cast himself in the role of Norway's lone crusader against the forces of pernicious multiculturalism.

The relatives and friends of those murdered by Breivik sat behind a bullet-proof screen in the extensively refurbished courtroom and watched aghast as the killer thrust his right arm forward in what appeared to be a clenched fist version of the Nazi salute as he entered court.

"I don't recognise Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties which support multiculturalism," Breivik told the presiding judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen quietly.

Rampage

"I admit to the acts, but not to criminal guilt. I do not plead guilty, I was acting in self-defence," Breivik, who had earlier described himself as a "writer", insisted.

Eda Knutsen, a young survivor of the Utoya massacre, was in court. Fighting back the tears, she said she was relieved to see him surrounded by police.

Several relatives of Breivik's victims wept as the evidence against him was read out. One woman, a sister of a young Labour Party member shot dead on Utoya, collapsed during a break in the proceedings.

John Hestnes, who lost a close friend in the Oslo bomb, was in court to watch the trial. Only yards from the court, building workers were still repairing the damage caused by Breivik's attack.

"I prepared myself. I watched all the films and read everything in advance, but being here is much tougher than I thought it would be," he said.

It was the prosecution lawyers who were left to describe the full extent of Breivik's gun rampage in shocking detail. For more than an hour the names of all of the 77 victims and those he wounded were read out.

Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh listed forensic report after report, explaining how rounds fired from his handgun and rifle killed his innocent victims as, panic stricken, they tried to flee.

Many were gunned down in cold blood as they walked into Breivik's gun sights. Others died as they hid in the island's pump and school houses.

The first day of yesterday's trial was broadcast on Norwegian television, but some of the prosecutions' evidence, which included police film of bomb victims and teenagers being shot, was considered too disturbing to be aired.

Svein Holden, a second state prosecutor explained at length what happened during the 15 years of Breivik's life that preceded his attacks. It was the story of academic failure, a job as a telephone salesman and then a decision to set up a series of failed companies.

He spent hours playing the computer game 'World of Warcraft'. Breivik's last business venture, as the head of a firm selling bogus diplomas, finally earned him cash.

From then on Breivik began to assemble his arsenal of weapons. He created his own uniforms and had himself photographed dressed as a commando sniper with a large automatic rifle and sporting a badge that read "Marxist multicultural traitor hunting permit."

In the months that led up to his attacks, he wrote his so-called "manifesto2", lived in his mother's Oslo apartment and rented a farm where he built his devastating bomb.

Breivik, will today begin to give his own version of the motives behind his attacks. Norwegian television has refused to broadcast what he says. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent