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Breivik to Seek Sanity Ruling After Defying Oslo Court

April 17, 2012

Anders Behring Breivik, right, confers with his lawyer Geir Lippestad, at the opening of his trial in Oslo district courtroom. Photographer: Hakon Mosvold Larsen/AFP/Getty Images

Anders Behring Breivik, right, confers with his lawyer Geir Lippestad, at the opening of his trial in Oslo district courtroom. Photographer: Hakon Mosvold Larsen/AFP/Getty Images

Anders Behring Breivik defended the killing of 77 people in July last year as necessary to stop the spread of a “cultural Marxist dictatorship” and warned of further attacks in Europe.

“I have done the most sophisticated and spectacular political act committed in Europe since World War II,” the Oslo native told a closed courtroom in the Norwegian capital today. “This won’t be the last time this happens in Europe.”

The 33-year-old killed 69 people -- some as young as 14 -- at a Labor Party youth camp on Utoeya island and detonated a car bomb by the prime minister’s office, taking eight lives. He has been indicted on two terror charges as well as murder and if deemed sane by the court may be sentenced to detention for at least 21 years.

Norwegians have been “deceived and betrayed by liberals and multiculturalists,” while “communist doctrines” have taken over in many countries, Breivik said. “Violent revolution is the only way to solve this.”

At the opening of the 10-week trial yesterday, Breivik refused to admit guilt for the July 22 attacks and declined to accept the authority of the court even as he confessed to the murders, arguing they were in self defense.

“He accepts he committed these acts which were horrendous but which he believes were necessary to prevent war in Europe,” his attorney, Geir Lippestad, said. His victims are “traitors” to Norway, Breivik has said.

‘Save Your People’

“I tried to save your people but the majority do not believe they need to be saved,” he said today. “I would have done it again,” Breivik said earlier.

Breivik yesterday raised his right arm in a salute to the court after having his handcuffs removed, and then sat motionless as prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh read the details of each of his victims. He later cried as prosecutors played a 12 minute video he had produced against multiculturalism.

“I was thinking about my country and ethnic group, they are dying,” he said, appearing annoyed by questioning from prosecutor Engh. “That’s why I felt sad. That’s why I cried.”

An initial psychiatric evaluation last year found Breivik to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, meaning he would face compulsory treatment rather than prison. The decision was criticized by victims and caused the Oslo court to order a new assessment in January.

‘Not Scared’

The second evaluation was released last week and found him not to be clinically psychotic and therefore accountable for his actions. Neither evaluation is binding for the court. If found sane by the judges, Breivik faces a maximum sentence of 21 years and the possibility of five-year extensions as long as he’s deemed a danger to society.

“I am not scared by the prospect of being imprisoned,” said Breivik, who earlier asked to be acquitted, claiming international law and human rights gave him the authority to “protect the Norwegian people.”

The start of Breivik’s testimony today was delayed for half an hour as the Oslo court deliberated whether to dismiss jury member Thomas Indreboe after he admitted to posting comments on Facebook calling for Breivik’s execution. Indreboe has been replaced by Anne Elisabeth Wisloeff, Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen said.

The trial is being broadcast to 17 court houses nationwide to allow about 2,000 aggrieved relatives and friends of the victims to follow the proceedings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alastair Reed at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at

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