Norway Massacre Suspect Appears In Court
Anders Behring Breivik, 32, was led through his hearing Monday as thousands across the country watched live on Norwegian television. Breivik would admit to the actions set forth in the accusations, but refused any guilt, denying that he broke Norway's anti-terrorism laws.
According the suspect, the was trying to create awareness of what he calls an Islamic invasion of Europe.
From the Los Angeles Times:
“I am a military commander in the Norwegian resistance movement,” Breivik was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. He rejected the court's jurisdiction because it “supports multiculturalism,” according to Reuters news agency.
The hearing was to decide whether to extend Breivik’s custody pending a trial tentatively set for April 16. The court prolonged his custody to Feb. 6 but decided to gradually lift restrictions on media access, visitors and mail, according to news reports.
Breivik also asked in court if he could address the survivors of the mass attacks and relatives of the victims, but the judge denied it. He has been held in solitary confinement since late July, when he was arrested.
From Fox News:
Tim Viskjer, who survived the shooting spree on Utoya, watched Breivik's hearing on a video screen in another room in the court house.
"I thought he seemed cold and inhuman," Viskjer told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. "It was uncomfortable, but for me I moved on a little bit after seeing and hearing the suspect."
Other victims also came to the courthouse, but for closure, rather than answers.
From The Irish Times:
Utoeya survivor Sondre Lindhagen Nilssen (16), who was in court with his mother, Heidi, stayed alive by hiding in a small cave at the back of the island. He hid for over two hours and saw two people, one of whom he knew, shot in front of him.
“When I saw him, I saw a totally removed person who has not the remotest contact with reality,” he said outside the court. His mother said her son “still has many ups and downs” and needs support.
Another Utoeya survivor, Erik Kursetgjerde (18), said he came to the court “to understand how he did that”.
“It will be different to see him this time in the courtroom flanked by police,” he said. “Then he will no longer be after me and I don’t need to be afraid any longer.”
For some survivors and the bereaved, it was too much when Breivik announced in court that that he considered himself to be a “knight templar”. This was an apparent reference to the medieval order, approved by the Catholic Church in the 12th century and closely associated with the Crusades, and from which some right-wing extremists draw inspiration in, as they see it, a quest to defend Christian heritage.
Breivik's trial will begin next April in Oslo.
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