Norway Massacre Trial Ends; Verdict Due in August

Posted June 22nd, 2012 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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The trial of confessed Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik ended Friday with a declaration by the defendant that he carried out a “a small barbarism” to prevent “a greater barbarism.”

Breivik told the Oslo court Friday that he killed 77 people in a pair of attacks last July in defense of his ethnic group. He has defended his bombing and shooting spree as a fight against multiculturalism in Norway and what he sees as a Muslim invasion of Europe. He demanded acquittal.

The court is expected to issue a verdict August 24.

Breivik's lawyer on Friday called on the court to rule his client as sane, rejecting the prosecution's motion that he be sent to psychiatric care rather than prison.

Breivik has confessed to the killings during the bombing and shooting rampage on a government building in Oslo and a political youth camp. He has undergone two psychiatric evaluations, with one finding him mentally incompetent and the other ruling him sane.

Breivik has told the court that the report declaring him insane was based on “fabrications” by court-appointed psychiatrists. He has previously said an insanity ruling would be “worse than death.”

If deemed mentally competent, he faces a 21-year prison sentence which could be extended beyond that for as long as he is considered dangerous.

1. SOUNDBITE (Norwegian) Geir Lippestad, Breivik's lawyer:

“Let me get to the 22nd of July and let me just put this crystal clear, the 22nd of July was an inferno of violence, but we need to look at how he did this attack in order to access whether it was the violence in its self or the radical politics that were the reason.”

2. SOUNDBITE (Norwegian) Geir Lippestad, Breivik's lawyer: ++SOUNDBITE BEGINS ON MID OF PROSECUTION TEAM++

“My point is that there is nothing in the life of the defendant prior to the 22nd indicating any particular glorification of violence, nothing in his conduct, nothing afterwards. He does have extreme political views and he does lack empathy and there are many things we can revert to but there is no execution of violence that has been motivating for his life and motivating for his acts. So, my thesis is that there is extremism that is at the core of this, extreme politics that are the source of these acts.”

1. SOUNDBITE (English) Christine Bjelland, mother of survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's attacks:

1I felt that it was a very dignified ending of the trial to listen to those who were affected and what they have personally gone through and the focus should be on them – and not on the defendant. I've heard him several times before and as a mother, I've had enough.”

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Ali Esbati, survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's attacks:

“He wouldn't have done what he did if it wasn't placed within a political framework. And that political framework, by the way, is nothing that he is alone in holding but he shares it with a rather large group of people. And that's the problem for the future. Obviously, because he will be behind bars one way or another anyway but the political idea, the political tendencies that he belongs to will be there also after that.”