Norway: Alleged Mass Killer Anders Behring Breivik Set For Court Appearance: UPDATED

25 Jul

LATEST NEWS UPDATE:

OSLO, Norway (AP) — A judge denied Anders Behring Breivik the public stage he wanted to air his anti-Muslim rants and call for revolution on Monday, ruling that the first hearing for the man who has confessed to Norway’s twin terror attacks be held behind closed doors.

Breivik prepared a speech for his day in court even before launching the attacks that left 93 people dead and Norwegians reeling at the devastation. He had requested an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform, making clear in an Internet manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theater.

He staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as “marketing” for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims, he said.

The decision to close the arraignment was announced to throngs of reporters waiting outside the court for their first glimpse of Breivik since the assault. A hushed crowd of hundreds of locals also gathered.

“Based on information in the case the court finds that today’s detention hearing should be held behind closed doors,” Judge Kim Heger said in a statement. “It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security.”

Peaceful, liberal Norway has been stunned by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, which the suspect said were intended to start a revolution to inspire Norwegians to retake their country from Muslims and other immigrants. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway’s “indigenous” culture.

The court acknowledged that there was a need for transparency in the case and that it normally would consider arguments from the press when making decisions to close hearings but said that wasn’t possible “for practical reasons.”

It’s unusual that the hearing was closed even before it began. Normally, a judge would make such a decision in open court.

Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. In cases of serious crimes or where the defendant has admitted to the charges, longer periods of detention are not unusual.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the mourning nation in a minute of silence on Monday, standing on the steps of an Oslo university next to a flame. The king and queen stood by as well, and neighboring countries Denmark and Sweden also joined in the remembrance.

Signs of normality began to return to Oslo on Monday. A wide police cordon around the bomb site was lifted on the first workday since the attacks, leaving just a narrower zone closed off. Most shops were open and trams were rumbling through the city’s streets.

But the flag on the courthouse where Breivik will appear remained at half staff, and the world’s media was buzzing around the building.

The search for more victims continues and police have not released the names of the dead. But Norway’s royal court said Monday that those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit‘s stepbrother, an off-duty police officer, who was working there as a security guard.

Court spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told The Associated Press that his name was Trond Berntsen, the son of Mette-Marit’s stepfather, who died in 2008.

Meanwhile, French police were searching the suspect’s father’s home Monday. About a dozen officers surrounded the house in Couranel in southern France, entering and leaving at irregular intervals. The house is cordoned off, and reporters do not have access.

The regional gendarme service confirmed the house was that of Anders Behring Breivik’s father but would not comment on the search operation. News reports have said Breivik’s father, Jens Breivik, has not been in touch with his son in many years.

The attacks rattled Norway, a small and wealthy country unused to political violence, and known internationally as a peace mediator, prominent foreign aid donor and as home of the Nobel Peace Prize. Survivors of the camp shooting on the Utoya island described how a gunman dressed in a police uniform urged people to come closer and then opened fire, sending panicked youth fleeing into the water.

Police say 86 people were killed. About 90 minutes earlier, a car bomb exploded in the government district in central Oslo, killing seven.

More than 90 people were wounded, and others remain missing at both crime scenes.

Breivik laid out his extreme nationalist philosophy as well as his attack methods in a 1,500-page manifesto. It also describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiping his computer hard drive — all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors.

Dr. Colin Poole, head of surgery at Ringriket Hospital in Honefoss northwest of Oslo, told The Associated Press that the gunman used special bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage. Poole said surgeons treating 16 gunshot victims have recovered no full bullets.

“These bullets more or less exploded inside the body,” Poole said. “It’s caused us all kinds of extra problems in dealing with the wounds they cause, with very strange trajectories.”

Ballistics experts say “dum-dum”-style bullets also are lighter in weight and can be fired with greater accuracy over varying distances.

___

Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, Sarah DiLorenzo in Stockholm and Shawn Pogatchnik in Oslo, Norway, contributed to this report.

NEWS UPDATE:

OSLO, Norway (AP) — An Oslo district court judge decided Monday to hold the arraignment for the suspect in the twin attacks in Norway behind closed doors.

Judge Kim Heger made the decision on a request from police. The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, had asked for an open hearing.

“Based on information in the case the court finds that today’s detention hearing should be held behind closed doors,” the court said in a statement. “It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security.”

NEWS UPDATE:

COURNANEL, France (AP) — French gendarmes are searching the house of the father of the man who confessed to attacks that killed 93 people in Norway.

About a dozen gendarmes are surrounding the house in Cournanel in southern France on Monday, entering and leaving at irregular intervals.

The house is cordoned off, and reporters do not have access.

The regional gendarme service confirmed the house was that of Anders Behring Breivik’s father but would not comment on the search operation.

News reports have said Breivik’s father, Jens Breivik, has not been in touch with his son in many years.

Breivik, 32, has confessed he was behind Friday’s bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, but denies criminal responsibility.

———–

Anders Behring Breivik is set to appear before an Oslo judge today as the Nordic nation mourns the 93 victims of Friday’s attacks.

Oslo - Prayers, condolences and candles outside the cathedral

Oslo – Prayers, condolences and candles outside the cathedral

Anders Behring Breivik - Lawyer said he has admitted the killings

Anders Behring Breivik – Lawyer said he has admitted the killings

Aftermath - Military stands guard near the site of Friday's bomb

Aftermath – Military stands guard near the site of Friday’s bomb

Mourning - Friends and loved ones gather in the cathedral in Oslo

Mourning – Friends and loved ones gather in the cathedral in Oslo

 

Anders Behring Breivik wants to tell Norway and the world why he killed at least 93 people in two attacks on Friday when he appears in court later today, his lawyer has said.

Calling himself a crusader against a tide of Islam in a rambling 1,500-page online manifesto, the 32-year-old wants the opportunity to explain actions he deemed ‘atrocious, but necessary’.

Lawyer Geir Lippestad said his client had admitted to Friday’s shootings at a Labour youth camp and an earlier bomb that killed seven people in Oslo’s government district, but that he denies any criminal guilt.

‘He has been politically active and found out himself that he did not succeed with usual political tools and so resorted to violence,’ Mr Lippestad told TV2 news.

‘I await a medical assessment of him,’ he said.

The worst peacetime massacre in the country’s modern history appears to have been driven by Mr Breivik’s mission to save Europe from what he saw as the threats of Islam, immigration and multi-culturalism.

That he deliberately surrendered to police when finally confronted on the tiny island of Utoeya after gunning down 86 youngsters underlines his desire to secure a public platform for his radical thoughts.

It was not clear how long Mr Breivik will have to talk in court since the hearing will be about custody and he will not be required to enter a guilty or innocent plea.

Police played down a report in Norwegian media they had already decided to ask for the hearing, when a judge is set to remand him in custody, to be held behind closed doors.
‘It’s up to the judge to decide. It’s not uncommon that the police will ask for it in advance but I don’t know if the police will ask for that,’ Liv Corneliussen, a police prosecutor said.

The issue could trigger a debate about freedom of expression with many Norwegians opposed to allowing a man who has shaken the nation’s psyche the right to speak out.

Norwegian markets will open as normal, but the country will observe a minute of silence at midday (11am Irish time).

An exact time for the court hearing has not been set, but it was likely to be after 1pm (12pm Irish time).

‘He explains himself fairly calmly, but every now and then expresses emotion,’ Mr Lippestad said of Mr Breivik. ‘He buries his head in his hands.’

‘He has said that he believed the actions were atrocious, but that in his head they were necessary,’ he said, adding his client did not feel he deserved punishment.

Police believe Mr Breivik acted alone after becoming disenchanted with mainstream parties, even those that have gained popularity and parliamentary seats on anti-immigration policies in otherwise liberal and tolerant European countries, including affluent Norway.

NEWS UPDATE:

EDS NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY ALTERED BY THE ORIGINAL SOURCE TO REMOVE THE BACKGROUND - This image shows Anders Behring Breivik from a manifesto attributed to him that was discovered Saturday, July 23, 2011. Breivik is a suspect in a bombing in Oslo and a shooting on a nearby island which occurred on Friday, July 22, 2011. The Norwegian news agency NTB said Breivik wrote a 1,500-page manifesto before the attack in which he attacked multiculturalism and Muslim immigration. The document, which contained this and other photos, also described how to acquire explosives. (AP Photo/via Scanpix)

EDS NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY ALTERED BY THE ORIGINAL SOURCE TO REMOVE THE BACKGROUND …

EDS NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY ALTERED BY THE ORIGINAL SOURCE TO REMOVE THE BACKGROUND - This image shows Anders Behring Breivik from a manifesto attributed to him that was discovered Saturday, July 23, 2011. Breivik is a suspect in a bombing in Oslo and a shooting on a nearby island which occurred on Friday, July 22, 2011. The Norwegian news agency NTB said Breivik wrote a 1,500-page manifesto before the attack in which he attacked multiculturalism and Muslim immigration. The document, which contained this and other photos, also described how to acquire explosives. (AP Photo/via Scanpix)

EDS NOTE: IMAGE HAS BEEN DIGITALLY ALTERED BY THE ORIGINAL SOURCE TO REMOVE THE BACKGROUND …

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The man who confessed to the twin attacks that killed 93 people in Norway will be arraigned in court for the first time Monday and has requested an open hearing so that he can explain his massacre to the public.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has confessed he was behind the bombing in downtown Oslo and shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, but denies criminal responsibility. His lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that Breivik has requested to appear in a uniform during the hearing, but didn’t know what kind.

The search for victims continues and police have not released their names. But Norway’s royal court said Monday that those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s stepbrother, an off-duty police officer, who was working there as a security guard.

Court spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told The Associated Press that his name was Trond Berntsen, the son of Mette-Marit’s stepfather, who died in 2008.

Breivik laid out his extreme nationalist philosophy as well as his attack methods in a 1,500-page manifesto. It also describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiping his computer hard drive — all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors.

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One Response to “Norway: Alleged Mass Killer Anders Behring Breivik Set For Court Appearance: UPDATED”

  1. mark laskowski 1JulyJ2011 at 12:09 pm #

    I t makes no diffrence what this killers reason is you just kill children at all.Its bad enough to kill anyone but children are innocent and have not hurt anyone.This man is truly a sick person.He is not the only one these guys are a dime a dozen, Some how a messsage gets in that sick brain and gets all twisted and they think they are doing the right thing.Why cant they see that what they are doing is pure evil and is not going to produce the effect they are looking for.the killer in this case says he is a christian and was trying to bring about a revolution. God would never have killed these children and would never tell this man to kill in his name either.He is a very sick man and should stay in prison or be put to death. Those children never had a chance and were never responsable for the troubles that this world has .dont let this guy taste freedom

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