Norway Bombing Suspect Makes First Court Appearance

Posted July 25th, 2011 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The custody hearing for the man who admitted to Friday's bombing and mass shooting in Norway has ended after 35 minutes.

Prosecutors said they would ask for eight weeks of detention for Anders Behring Breivik, that can be extended before a trial begins.

Earlier, the judge ruled the hearing would be held behind closed doors, barring the public and media. Breivik had requested the hearing be open in order to explain his motives behind the attacks.

Breivik faces terrorism charges for allegedly bombing the prime minister's office building in Oslo, then shooting participants at a youth camp on the island of Utoeya near Oslo. Officials say the attacks killed 93 people.

Breivik's lawyer says his client confessed to both attacks, but denies committing any crime. The attorney says Breivik believes his actions were “atrocious” but necessary to bring about a “revolution” in Norwegian society.

Just before Friday's attack, Breivik published a long rant on the Internet. He raved about what he calls the Islamisation of Europe through Muslim immigration. He vowed to take revenge against liberals, accusing them of betraying Christianity by promoting multiculturalism.

Friday's attack shattered Norway, which has not experienced such violence since the Nazi occupation of World War Two.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said Norway has suffered a national tragedy. He led a memorial service Sunday at Oslo Cathedral. Mourners included King Harald and Queen Sonja. Many of those in the cathedral, including the king and queen, wept openly. Tearful Norwegians laid flowers and candles outside the cathedral.