Breivik says he would do it all over again
ANDERS BEHRING Breivik, the self-styled anti-Islamic militant on trial for killing 77 people in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity gave evidence for the first time yesterday, describing the deaths as “the most spectacular sophisticated political act in Europe since the second World War” and saying he would do it all over again.
He spoke after judges permitted him to read from a 13-page statement that some Norwegians feared was little more than a manifesto to propagate xenophobic and far-right views.
The authorities had already ruled that his testimony, though witnessed by those in the courtroom, including journalists, would not be broadcast live.
The testimony – on the first of five days allocated to Breivik (33) to testify in an effort to justify his demand for an acquittal – offered Norwegians in the courtroom a chance to hear him address the tangled, unsettling and sometimes contradictory reasons he had advanced for the bloody attacks.
Breivik said he had “no regret” about his actions, which he maintained were done out of “goodness, and not evil”.
Norway was being used as “a dumping ground for surplus births”, an apparent reference to immigrants to Norway from other countries of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. He claimed that he had been attacked by a Muslim gang, during which he received a broken nose, while helping a friend – an assertion with no supporting evidence.
He claimed that for him, “the scales tipped” and the catalyst for his radicalisation was the 1990s war in the Balkans, during which he apparently supported Serbia, seen by most as the main aggressor in that conflict.
Japan was an ideal society, he said, apparently admiring what he saw as its economic success and “mono culture”. On religion, he put himself “leaning more towards the Catholic church”.
He entered Oslo courtroom number 250 on the second day of his trial, adjusting his tie and giving his by now customary clench-fisted salute. He was allowed to read his statement to justify his killing 77 people in Oslo and the nearby lake island of Utoeya on July 22nd last year.
His demeanour throughout was calm and confident and, at times, it seemed as if he was more in control of the situation than the prosecutor. Before he began reading, he asked Judge Arntzen if she “would not interrupt him”. She, however, had to remind him again and again “to hurry up”.
The statement included a litany of abusive allegations against the “evil forces” of liberalism and “cultural Marxism” as espoused in Norway’s governing Labour Party.
In Breivik’s world view, the violent actions he chose were entirely “preventable” if it had not been for the liberal and inclusive ideology of the Labour Party and other leftist political groups. “Violent revolution” was the only answer to counter inclusive immigration policies. He continued: “As long as you call me evil, you should call the US commanders during World War II evil as well when they decided to drop the bomb on Japan. But they tried to have noble motives to try to save people’s lives.”
The 69 mostly young people attending a Labour Party summer camp on the island whom he shot were like the Hitler Youth, he maintained.
Breivik is charged with two counts of terror and premeditated murder for the bomb he detonated in Oslo’s government district and the shootings on Utoeya. He admits the attacks but denies guilt; his justification is that he acted in self-defence. The values of “multiculturalism or cultural Marxism” and “militant nationalism or ultranationalist” were central features in his arguments.
He seemed aware and prepared for prosecution arguments and strategies. He was pressed on areas that might point towards a suggestion of psychiatric illness. Breivik rejected the first two psychiatric experts who examined him and concluded he was deluded and suffered from psychosis.
To prevent civil war in Norway, he argued, it was necessary to take violent action to protect “the ethnic cleansing”. The summer camp was “an indoctrination camp” for Labour’s ideology and hence a legitimate target.
He drew a parallel between himself and the late British conservative and Ulster Unionist Party MP Enoch Powell, whose April 1968 speech claiming that migration of black people to Britain would result in “rivers of blood” led to his dismissal. Somewhat incongruously, he cited the legacy of Crazy Horse, the North American Indian who fought at the Little Bighorn in 1876 and was fatally wounded while allegedly resisting imprisonment. Both had “fought to protect their indigenous identity”.
He went on to criticise the “rumours and propaganda” concerning his personal life. These rumours included that he had an “incestuous relation with his mother”, scored low in intelligence tests, was “a pathetic loser” and “a baby killer” despite the fact that, as he put it, he did not “kill anyone under the age of 14”.
He ended his statement by demanding to be acquitted of all charges laid against him, justified on grounds of self-defence and pre-emptive action The rhetoric warned about what he perceived to be dangers and consequences for western Europe if they blindly accepted the liberalist agenda. – (Additional reporting New York Times)
LAY JUDGE DISMISSED COMMENT 'VIOLATED IMPARTIALITY'
THE COURT trying Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik for massacring 77 people last year dismissed a lay judge member of its panel yesterday after attention was drawn to a comment he posted on a Facebook page shortly after the killings, saying the gunman should face the death penalty.
The trial against Breivik began on Monday, with two professional judges, as well as three lay judges chosen from civil society, presiding over the court. All cases heard before the Norwegian courts are presided over by a professional judge but they are assisted by non-professionals appointed as lay judges to rule over both criminal and civil cases.
The system – which is also used in Sweden, Germany and Japan – is designed to ensure that citizens who do not have a law qualification play a key role in the country’s legal system.
After the killings last July, lay judge Thomas Indreboe posted on Facebook: “The death penalty is the only just outcome of this case”. Lawyers on all sides requested Mr Indreboe be taken off the trial, saying the comment violated his impartiality. – (Reuters)