Breivik's first appearance in court was back in February, and with recent declaration by the state he is sane enough to stand trial and face prison time rather than commitment to the asylum, the trial proceeded. Today was the initial hearings which consisted of a review of the charges against Breivik, including a reading of all the victims, their ages, and the way they died. This is some 8-9 months after the bombing in Oslo and the massacre at Utoeya Island.
There's been some controversy over the public airing of the proceedings and whether or not it'll give Breivik the platform he needs to spread his views. However, the testimony of the witnesses or Breivik himself will not be televised. During the appearance Breivik did not show any emotion except during a point when the court played some of his propaganda videos, where he was noticeably moved seeing his nonsense on the screen (Crusader knights and other nonsense regarding the "defense of European civilization").
Breivik pleaded not guilty to his charges. He says that he acknowledges what he did, but it wasn't a "criminal act" with the justification that he was acting in 'self-defense'. He also did some ranting about that he won't recognize the authority of the court due to the connection to the parties he hates.
Anders Breivik pleads not guilty at Norway murder trial
The man who carried out bomb and gun attacks in Norway last year which left 77 people dead has pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial in Oslo.
Anders Behring Breivik attacked a youth camp organised by the governing Labour party on the island of Utoeya, after setting off a car bomb in the capital.
He told the court he "acknowledged" the acts committed, but said he did not accept criminal responsibility.
The prosecution earlier gave a detailed account of how each person was killed.
If the court decides he is criminally insane, he will be committed to psychiatric care; if he is judged to be mentally stable, he will be jailed.
In the latter case, he faces a sentence of 21 years, which could be extended to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life.
The 33-year-old Norwegian was found insane in one examination, while a second assessment made public last week found him mentally competent. 'Self-defence'
Dressed in a dark suit, Breivik smiled as he entered the courtroom and a guard removed his handcuffs. He then gave a closed-fist salute.
He later told the lead judge, Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen: "I do not recognise the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism."
He also said he did not recognise the authority of Judge Arntzen, claiming she was friends with the sister of former Prime Minister and Labour party leader Gro Harlem Brundtland.
The judge noted the objections, which Breivik's lawyer said were not official, and said the defence could follow up on them in their opening arguments.
Breivik described his occupation as a "writer", currently working from prison.
Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh read out the charges against him and gave an extensively detailed account of how each person was killed or injured in last year's attacks.
She said the attacks "created fear in the Norwegian population", adding: "The defendant has committed very serious crimes, on a scale which hasn't been experienced in our country in modern times."
Breivik showed no emotion, looking down at the table in front of him.
At the end of the indictment, he told the court: "I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt - I claim I was doing it in self-defence."
Breivik has already confessed to the attacks on 22 July. In the car bombing outside government buildings in Oslo, eight people were killed and 209 wounded.
He killed 67 people and wounded 33 - most of them teenagers - in his shooting spree at the youth camp on Utoeya. A further two people died by falling or drowning.
At a court hearing in February, Breivik said his killing spree was "a preventative attack against state traitors", who were guilty of "ethnic cleansing" because they supported a multicultural society.
His lawyer has said his only regret is that "he did not go further".
"It is difficult to understand, but I am telling you this to prepare people for his testimony," Geir Lippestad told reporters before the trial.
Investigators have found no evidence to support Breivik's claims that he belonged to a secret "resistance" movement, the "Knights Templar", named after a military and religious order founded during the Crusades to fight the enemies of Christendom.
"In our opinion such a network does not exist," prosecutor Svein Holden told the court on Monday.
A 12-minute-long film about the evils of "multiculturalism" and "Islamic demographic warfare", which Breivik posted online on the day of the attacks, was shown in court before the trial was adjourned for lunch. As it concluded, he could be seen wiping tears from his eyes.
Later, previously unreleased surveillance footage of the Oslo bombing was shown.
Some of the survivors and relatives of those killed reportedly gasped after footage was played of Breivik's explosives-packed vehicle exploding, followed by scenes of panic as people fled and pieces of metal fell to the ground. But the defendant was impassive, and at times even smirked.
The court later adjourned for the day.
At a news conference following the adjournment, Mr Lippestad said Breivik considered he was at war and therefore felt he should be tried by a military tribunal.
Asked about Breivik's tears during the first day, he said "part of the explanation" might be that his client considered his actions "necessary to prevent a war in Europe".
Parts of the trial will be shown on television, but the court will not allow Breivik's testimony or that of his witnesses to be broadcast. Breivik is scheduled to take the stand for about a week, starting on Tuesday.
At the scene Lars Bevanger, Oslo
The prosecution presented details of the attacks on Utoeya island, which included a harrowing emergency telephone call from one of the youths there. More than 50 gunshots and screaming could be heard in the background.
Breivik remained seemingly unmoved throughout.
Yet earlier he broke down in tears as the prosecution screened his own propaganda video, which he posted online shortly before his attacks. A report from Norwegian TV2 said that by reading his lips he appeared to tell one of his defence team that "it was an emotional video".
Breivik also showed emotion as the prosecution showed illustrations and video from the car bomb attack in Oslo city centre.
While victims and their families cried as the blast could be seen, Breivik smiled on several occasions.
The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Oslo says that with Breivik not expected to express any remorse for his actions, his trial promises to be an ordeal for the families of those killed and for those who survived.
Jorid Nordmelan, a survivor of the Utoeya massacre, told the BBC she would be in court to hear Breivik testify.
"It's a historical date for Norwegians," she said. "We never had a trial like this, so we don't know what's going to happen.
"Prosecutors told me they were going to make the opening statements awful, so that people can just feel what he did right there."
Police have sealed off streets around the courtroom, which was specially built for the trial to accommodate more than 200 people. Glass partitions have been put up to separate the victims and their families from Breivik.
Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander
26th April 2004
Watched some of it live. Indeed when they showed his propaganda video, with images of himself compared to the medieval Knights Templar, he got emotional.
I think it's great that there's a chance to see the trial and it's open for everyone to assess, but the media is sort of making a circus out of it. They will call in witnesses from the extreme right, extreme left, extreme Islamists and Breivik's mother. Time to make some popcorn, eh?
As for what Breivik calls "Cultural Marxists vs. Knights Templar Europe", it's obviously complete crap and I'm surprised the later report didn't find him schizophrenic. But make no mistake about the actual clash of the hardline social conservatives and the official policy of multiculturalism. In the Oslo region I've read news articles that almost all rapes are committed by non-Western immigrants. Norway also gave a refuge to an extreme Islamist clergy who said it was perfectly acceptable to kill Americans on 9/11 and who gave death threats to Norwegians. (Norway to jail Islamist cleric for five years - Europe - Al Jazeera English)
So that's some fuel for the conspiracy theories, but things like that will come up in the court in the coming days, as he claims self defense.
We probably won't see much of the drama beyond the condensed summaries over here, but that's what we get with court trials. The thing over Trayvon Martin has become heavily covered, and before that there was the stuff over Casey Anthony.
American audiences will probably be more interested in this about the whole issue of criminal insanity that will come up as they try to establish whether he was sane at the time of the shootings. There's been some popular mood I guess here about a perception of how people can "get off easy" if they use the insanity plea. In reality, the in the legal system in the US insanity pleas are hard to get, but because people get the impression from the heavily scrutinized ones from the media (a handful out of the thousands) that it comes up too often.
So that'll be definitely what they'll be looking at and it'll probably segway into how the US deals with similar problems. Some of that came up with the person who shot the Congresswoman a while back, and I guess more recently with the shootings in the Oakland college.
Victim of Forgotten HopeForum bystander
26th April 2004
"I am not afraid of going to jail. I've lived all my life in a jail in which you can't express your opinions."
He also compared the Social Democratic youth camp to the Hitler Jugend.
"Ethnic Norway will disappear if nothing is done." "It is undemocratic to make Norway multicultural without a referendum." "Was Sitting Bull a hero or terrorist for fighting for indigenous rights against a foreign invasion?" "I have committed the most spectacular political attack in Europe after the Second World War." "I could do it again." "I didn't want to just watch and do nothing when Norwegians are being made a minority in Norway." "Violent revolution is the only way to solve the problems I presented. Being brutal is not necessarily evil."
50 minutes long speech.
Well, did he succeed using it as a platform to spread his views?
Depends. To me he's just sounding like a lunatic and making it hard to make their views "respectable", but then again it might still resonate with some segment of the population. Though even the fringe groups here in the States were weary of trying to lionize him, IIRC stormfront (the largest haven of all that mess in the States) had to shut itself down to scrub out any posts that could potentially be traced back to Breivik.
But if he threw all that out just now, I wonder what he will do with his testimony that's not going to be televised. Or is he aware that it won't be in the first place?
Dark System LordResiding In Insanity
10th November 2004
I've been following it a bit in the media. It seems that now he's saying that he learned to shoot by playing Modern Warfare 2 and that he played WoW.
Guyver;5634319I've been following it a bit in the media. It seems that now he's saying that he learned to shoot by playing Modern Warfare 2 and that he played WoW.
I think he may be throwing some of these things out to illicit a response, considering how the whole video games and violence discussion. It has certainly worked with the internet lighting up over the comments regarding how WoW of all things 'helped' him. The MW2 thing makes things clearer to me, he kept going on about how playing the game "aiming down the sights" and I thought he was still referring to WoW. :p
The article makes some good refutations about the whole violence and 'training' angle though, but I haven't heard the angle about how he may've used the appearance that he was playing WoW too long to do other things. But again, he may just be pulling all of us along for the ride.
He's pulling in video games to engage the basement-dwellers and pissing off the Internet. He's spreading his name and succeeding at it.
Commissar MercZ;5634434I think he may be throwing some of these things out to illicit a response, considering how the whole video games and violence discussion. It has certainly worked with the internet lighting up over the comments regarding how WoW of all things 'helped' him. The MW2 thing makes things clearer to me, he kept going on about how playing the game "aiming down the sights" and I thought he was still referring to WoW. :p The article makes some good refutations about the whole violence and 'training' angle though, but I haven't heard the angle about how he may've used the appearance that he was playing WoW too long to do other things. But again, he may just be pulling all of us along for the ride.
WoW? So he made bombs and guns using spells did he? I get it now, hes against the Orc-ran government! The only thing he has similier to WoW is hes in a Fantasy world. For the record I hate Wow and have never played it, I got some mates who do though.
I think it may also be that "I obsessively played WoW and MW2 as a cover while I was training for armed revolution" sounds a lot more impressive than "I obsessively played WoW and MW2 because I am a loser". ;)