Anders Behring Breivik trial: ‘I acted out of goodness’

Anders Behring Breivik smiles at his defence lawyer Vibeke Hein Baera on the second day of the trial. Picture: AP
Anders Behring Breivik smiles at his defence lawyer Vibeke Hein Baera on the second day of the trial. Picture: AP
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ANDERS Breivik told a court yesterday that his cold-blooded massacre of 77 people in Norway last summer was the most “spectacular” attack by a nationalist militant since the Second World War – and insisted he would do it again.

Reading a prepared statement, the anti-Muslim extremist lashed out at Norwegian and European governments for embracing immigration and multiculturalism.

Lay judge Thomas Indreboe. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

Lay judge Thomas Indreboe. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

He claimed to be speaking as a commander of an “anti- communist” resistance movement and an anti-Islam militant group he called the Knights Templar. There is no evidence the group exists.

Maintaining he acted out of “goodness, not evil” to prevent a wider civil war, Breivik said: “I would have done it again.”

Breivik has five days to explain why he set off a bomb in Oslo’s government district last July, killing eight people, and then gunned down 69 others at a Labour Party youth camp outside the Norwegian capital. He denies criminal guilt, saying he was acting in self-defence.

“The attacks on July 22 were a preventive strike. I acted in self-defence on behalf of my people, my city, my country,” he said.

“I therefore demand to be found innocent of the present charges.”

His statement, in essence a summary of the 1,500-page manifesto he posted online before the attacks, will be used to determine whether he is mentally sane.

During his reading, Breivik faced frequent interruptions from judges, asking him to keep his statement short. There were also complaints from some of Breivik’s victims in the courtroom that he was turning the trial into a platform to express his extremist views, leading one judge to tell him to bring his diatribe to a close.

“It is critically important that I can explain the reason and the motive” for the massacre, Breivik replied.

According to him, western Europe was gradually taken over by “Marxists and multi- culturalists” after the Second World War because it didn’t have “anti-communist” leaders like US senator Joseph Mc-Carthy, who made sensational and unproven allegations of Communist subversion in US government circles. “But even McCarthy was too moderate,” Breivik said.

He warned that Europe was heading toward a civil war between “nationalists and internationalists”, and praised others suspected of right-wing extremist attacks in Europe.

On Monday, Breivik rejected the authority of the court, calling it a vehicle of the “multiculturalist” political parties in power in Norway. He confessed to the “acts” that caused the 77 deaths but pleaded not guilty.

Even his lawyers concede his defence is unlikely to succeed, and said the main thing for them was to convince the court that Breivik is not insane.

He did not express regret, but told prosecutors he would have preferred attacking a conference of Norwegian journalists instead of the Utoya youth camp, where most of the victims were teenagers.

“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to carry out” an attack against that conference, he added.

Breivik rejected suggestions that he has a personality disorder. “July 22, wasn’t about me. July 22 was a suicide attack. I wasn’t expecting to survive that day,” he said. “A narcissist would never have given his life for anyone or anything.”

Asked why he started crying in court on Monday, when prosecutors showed an anti-Muslim film that Breivik posted on YouTube before the attacks, he said: “I was thinking about Norway and Europe, which are ruled by politicians and journalists killing our country. I was thinking that my country is dying.”