Monday, 14 November 2011

Norway's Anders Behring Breivik in open court hearing

The man who confessed to killing 77 people in Norway in July has made his first public appearance in court.
Anders Behring Breivik, dressed in a dark suit, appeared in court in Oslo before survivors of the attacks, relatives of his victims and reporters.
The 32-year-old right-wing extremist has been in custody since the 22 July attacks in Oslo and at a youth camp on the island of Utoeya.
Previous hearings on his continued detention have been held in private.
'Calm and professional' Journalist Anne Leer who was in the courtroom said the atmosphere had been tense and strange.
About 30 survivors and relatives of the victims attended the hearing, and the defendant looked them straight in the eye when he entered, she said.
She said Breivik appeared very calm and professional, but was stopped by the judge as he attempted to read out a prepared statement.
Breivik has admitted to the July killings but denies criminal responsibility - saying the massacre was "necessary" to save Norway and Europe from Muslims and multiculturalism.
In the days after the attacks, in which 151 people were also injured, he had reportedly been hoping to explain his actions at a court hearing.
But although an open hearing was initially ordered, the decision was later overruled by a higher court after police appealed against it.
A police request that Breivik address his remand hearings via a video link from prison was rejected by Norway's supreme court on Friday, allowing his court appearances to be held in public.
The judge in Monday's hearing remanded Breivik in custody for a further 12 weeks but relaxed the conditions of his solitary confinement, Ms Leer said.
Breivik has admitted that, disguised as a police officer, he planted a car bomb that exploded close to government offices, killing eight people.
He then drove to the island of Utoeya where the ruling Labour Party's youth movement was hosting a summer camp.
In a shooting spree that lasted more than an hour, he killed 69 people - mostly teenagers.
The attacks have traumatised Norway, which is seen as one of the most politically stable and tolerant countries in Europe.

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