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Friday, April 27, 2012

Breivik to plead for his sanity in Oslo court

Anders Behring Breivik said on Monday he was not criminally insane and would do anything to avoid being sent to a secure mental hospital.

Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in what he calls his operation on the Norwegian island of Utøya, gave fresh details of his killing spree, describing how he stalked his teenage victims and then calmly executed them.

"If I were within five to 10 metres I would use the Glock. If I was further away, I would use the rifle," he said. "I have never experienced anything so gruesome. It was probably even more horrendous for those I was hunting." But it was, he said, necessary.

Breivik said that at one point he called the police to give himself up, but they failed to call him back. He then decided to continue shooting "until I die", he told the court.

The 33-year-old claimed that questions about his mental health were part of plot to discredit his "militant nationalist" ideology. Breivik suggested he was the victim of double standards and would not have been subjected to psychiatric examination had he been a "bearded jihadist". "They are trying to delegitimise everything I stand for," he complained.

His comments go to the heart of the case: is Breivik criminally insane or responsible for his actions? He has never expressed remorse for the attacks, saying those he killed on Utøya were not "innocent, non-political children" but "young people who worked to actively uphold multicultural values", and, as such, "legitimate targets".

The court therefore ordered a second opinion, conducted by Terje Toerrissen and Agnar Aspaas, who concluded that Breivik was sane.

A panel of experts charged with verifying the validity of the reports has however found weaknesses in the second evaluation and asked the authors to provide additional information.

Earlier this week, Breivik lamented in court that his sanity was being questioned.
He claimed to be the victim of “clear racism” and accused the prosecution of trying to “delegitimise” his Islamophobic ideology.

“If I had been a bearded Jihadi there would be no report at all… There would not be a need for a psychiatric evaluation,” he said.

Breivik was to testify on Wednesday afternoon, following testimonies from people injured by the car bomb he parked at the foot of the 17-floor Oslo government tower.
The 950-kilo (2,100-pound) bomb, made from fertiliser, diesel and aluminium, killed eight people and injured nine others seriously.

Leaning on crutches, scars still visible on his arms, 26-year-old student Eivind Dahl Thoresen took the witness stand and told the court how he escaped death in the bombing after losing two litres of blood.

“I tried to stop the flow of blood with my hand, but the flow grew heavier.
My blue jeans turned red, drenched in blood,” he told the court.

“I try to think positively all the time, and I’ve learned to appreciate small things” in life, he said.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, Mette Yvonne Larsen, cried softly as she listened to Dahl Thoresen, while Breivik sat emotionless.

Breivik has said the bombing, and the later shooting of 69 people on Utoeya island, was “cruel but necessary” to stop the ruling Labour Party’s “multicultural experiment” and the “Muslim invasion” of Norway and Europe.

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