Rambling Breivik asks to be cleared
The trial of Anders Breivik has ended with the confessed mass killer demanding to be set free and vowing that history would exonerate him for a bomb-and-gun rampage that killed 77 people.
The self-styled anti-Muslim militant got the final word in the 10-week proceedings, but it is unclear whether it helped the main point of his defence: trying to prove that he is sane.
In a rambling statement, Breivik lashed out at everything he finds wrong with the world, from non-ethnic Norwegians representing the country in the Eurovision Song Contest to the sexually liberated lifestyle of the characters in the American TV show Sex and the City.
Incorporating current events into his statement, he claimed that fellow right-wing extremists were behind a small amount of explosives found outside a Swedish nuclear plant this week. Swedish police spokesman Tommy Nyman had no comment "especially not if he says it."
While some of Breivik's comments prompted laughter in the Oslo court, a serious atmosphere returned when he reiterated his motive for bombing the headquarters in Oslo, killing eight, and hunting down teenagers at the Labour Party's youth camp. Sixty-nine people were killed and dozens more injured in one of the worst peacetime shooting massacres by a single gunman.
"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said. "The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people," he said. "I therefore demand to be acquitted."
Breivik claims the governing Labour Party has betrayed the country by accepting Muslim immigrants and must be stopped before turning Norway into what he called a "multiculturalist hell."
Earlier defence lawyer Geir Lippestad had tried to prove his client is sane - the key issue to be resolved in the trial since Breivik admits the attacks. Mr Lippestad also formally entered a plea for acquittal, but it was made out of principle, without any realistic chance of success.
Relatives of some of those killed tried to put their loss in words. Kirsti Loevlie, whose 30-year-old daughter Hanne was killed by the bomb, moved the court room to tears when she described the shock of finding out her daughter was dead. The grief of cleaning out her room. The first Christmas without her. The court room burst out in applause and audible sobs as she finished her statement.
Mr Lippestad tried to prove to the court that Breivik's claims of being a resistance fighter in a struggle to protect Norway and Europe from being colonised by Muslims are not delusional, but part of a political view shared by other right-wing extremist. Prosecutors had called for an insanity ruling. The five-judge panel will announce its ruling on August 24, chief judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen said.
www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/(Norwegian Justice Ministry)