Norwegian killer claims self-defense in mass murder of 77 people
Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of murdering 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer, admitted on Monday that he committed the acts but said he was not guilty. In an Oslo, Norway court, Breivik said, “I acknowledge the acts but do not plead guilty, and I claim I was doing it in self-defense.” When his trial opened earlier in the day, photographers captured Breivik with a raised fist, and he said he did not recognize the authority of the court. Breivik, who was unrestrained in court, did however, listen unemotionally as prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh read the charges against him, describing how dozens of teenagers and young people died from shots to the head and body.
Last month, Breivik was charged with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide. He is accused of murdering eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo and then going to Utoya Island, outside the city, and systematically gunning down 69 more people, many of them teens and young adults attending a Labour Party Camp. Breivik claims the rampage was meant to save Norway from the takeover of multicultural forces and to prevent ethnic cleansing of Norwegians, his attorney Geir Lippestad said. The trial is expected to last up to 10 weeks. If convicted, Breivik’s punishment will be based on the determination of his sanity, meaning he may not receive the maximum sentence if he is deemed insane. Trond Henry Blattmann, whose son was killed on Utoya Island, said, “It’s going to be 10 weeks of hell … to hear this man, to hear his explanation of why he did it and how he did it.”