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Europe

'I would do it again', Norway gunman Breivik tells court

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-16

Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing ideologue who has confessed to killing 77 people in Norway last July, told an Oslo court on Tuesday that he would commit the attacks again if he could, saying serving in prison would be his "biggest honour".

AP - Anders Behring Breivik defended his massacre of 77 people Tuesday and called the bomb-and-shooting rampage the most “spectacular” attacks by a nationalist militant since World War II.

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 a Norwegian and European “anti-communist” resistance movement and an anti-Islam militant group he called the Knights Templar. Prosecutors have said the group does not exist.

"TOO TOUGH TO LISTEN TO BREIVIK FOR SOME"

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

The statement came after a citizen judge was dismissed Tuesday for his comments online the day following the July 22 attack that Breivik deserves the death penalty. Lawyers on all sides had requested that lay judge Thomas Indreboe be taken off the trial.

Breivik is being tried by a panel of two professional judges and three lay judges, local politicians who are appointed for four-year terms and participate on an equal basis as the judges in deciding guilt and sentencing. The system is designed to let ordinary people have a role in the Norwegian justice system, though the lead judge still runs the trial.

Indreboe was replaced by backup lay judge Elisabeth Wisloeff.

As at the start of the trial on Monday, Breivik entered the court smirking before flashing a clenched-fist salute.

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

Survivors of the massacre have worried he will use his testimony as a platform to promote his extremist views. The key issue for the court to decide is whether Breivik is psychotic.

Breivik claimed Monday he acted in self-defense to protect Norway from Muslims by attacking the left-leaning political party he blamed for the country’s liberal immigration policies.

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” but pleaded not guilty.

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

One psychiatric examination found him legally insane while another reached the opposite conclusion. It is up to the panel to decide whether to send him to prison or compulsory psychiatric care.

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.

Date created : 2012-04-17

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