Norwegian anti-Muslim mass killer Breivik bent on turning trial into circus
Anti-Islam militant Anders Behring Breivik appears bent on turning a Norwegian court into a “circus” show for his views when he goes on trial on Monday for killing 77 people, reopening wounds in the traditionally tolerant and tranquil nation.
The facts of the case will hardly be at issue; Breivik has proudly admitted bombing the government’s headquarters in Oslo last July, killing eight people, before gunning down 69, mostly teenagers, at a summer camp of the ruling Labour Party.
Nevertheless, the “lone wolf” killer intends to deny criminal guilt and subject the country to a trial scheduled to last 10 weeks, during which the court must rule on both his guilt, and his sanity.
“Not only will he explain (his actions), but he will also say he regrets that he didn’t go further,” said Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s defense attorney, urging Norwegians to brace themselves for “tough and demanding” testimony.
Some Norwegians fear Breivik will succeed in making the trial, with about 800 journalists on hand, a platform for anti-immigrant ideas. His defense team has called 29 witnesses, ranging from Islamists to right-wing bloggers, to shed light on his world view.
“It is an unfortunate side effect that this provides him a microphone for his ideology,” said Atle Dyregrov, the director for the Center for Crisis Psychology. “For the victims, it will stir up quite a bit of emotion and bring back a lot of pain.”
That appears to be the aim of Breivik, who is scheduled to testify for about a week, starting on Tuesday.
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