Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway national who massacred 77 people during a summer holiday in a resort in Oslo, Norway is facing trial as cases of murder have been brought against him by Norwagean authority.
He has been making efforts to defend his bloodied action insisting he would do it again and calling his rampage the most “spectacular” attack by a nationalist militant since the Second World War.
Reading a prepared statement in court, the anti-Muslim extremist lashed out at Norwegian and European governments for embracing immigration and multiculturalism.
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 Labor 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 as he finished his statement, in essence a summary of the 1,500-page manifesto he posted online before the attacks. “I therefore demand to be found innocent of the present charges.”
Breivik’s evidence was delayed after one of the five judges hearing the case was dismissed for his comments online the day after the attack that said Breivik deserves the death penalty.
Norway does not have the death penalty. If found mentally sane – the key issue to be decided in the trial – Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society.
Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen repeatedly interrupted Breivik, asking him to keep his statement short. “It is critically important that I can explain the reason and the motive” for the massacre, Breivik replied.
According to Breivik, Western Europe was gradually taken over by “Marxists and multiculturalists” after the Second World War because it didn’t have “anti-communist” leaders like US senator Joseph McCarthy. The senator dominated the early 1950s with his sensational but unproven charges of Communist subversion in high government circles in the US. His probes gave rise to the term McCarthyism, which describes the persecution of innocent people on the charge of being Communists.
Mette Yvonne Larsen, a lawyer representing victims’ families, also interrupted Breivik, saying some were concerned that he was turning the trial into a platform to profess his extremist views. Her remarks prompted the judge to again urge Breivik to wrap it up