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Saturday 16 December 2017

Killer's rage at Eurovision and Sex and the City

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik ended with the confessed mass killer demanding to be set free and vowing that history would exonerate him for a bomb-and-gun rampage that killed 77 people.

The self-styled anti-Muslim militant got the final word in the 10-week proceedings, but it is unclear whether it helped the main point of his defence: trying to prove that he is sane.

Breivik lashed out at everything he finds wrong with the world, from non-ethnic Norwegians representing the country in the Eurovision to the sexually liberated lifestyle of the characters in Sex And The City.

While some of Breivik's comments prompted laughter in the Oslo court, a serious atmosphere returned when he reiterated his motive for bombing the government's headquarters, killing eight and hunting down teenagers at the Labour Party's youth camp. Sixty-nine people were slain and dozens more injured in one of the worst peacetime shooting massacres by a single gunman.

"History shows that you have to commit a small barbarism to prevent a bigger barbarism," the 33-year-old Norwegian said.

"The attacks on July 22 were preventive attacks to defend the indigenous Norwegian people," he said. "I therefore demand to be acquitted."

Breivik claims the governing Labour Party has betrayed the country by accepting Muslim immigrants and must be stopped before turning Norway into what he called a "multiculturalist hell."



tears

Earlier yesterday, defence lawyer Geir Lippestad had tried to prove his client is sane, the key issue to be resolved since Breivik admits the attacks.

Relatives of some of those killed tried to put their loss in words. Kirsti Loevlie, whose daughter Hanne, 30, was killed by the bomb, moved the court to tears when she described the shock of finding out her daughter was dead, the grief of cleaning out her room and the first Christmas without her.

Still, Loevlie said she felt a need to attend the trial, seeing Breivik in a position where he couldn't hurt anyone any more.

"I am not going to be afraid of this man," Loevlie said. "I decided I would go to court. I felt I owed it to Hanne."

Lippestad tried to prove to the court that Breivik's claims of being a resistance fighter in a struggle to protect Norway and Europe from being colonised by Muslims are not delusional, but a political view shared by other right-wing extremists.

"He realised that it is wrong to kill, but he chose to kill," Lippestad said. "The ends justify the means. You don't understand this if you don't understand the culture of right-wing extremists."

When Breivik talks about a civil war he's not fantasising about tanks and soldiers, but referring to a low-intensity struggle he believes will last for 60 years, Lippestad said.

Two teams of psychiatrists reached opposite conclusions about Breivik's mental health. The first team diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia. The second team found him legally sane, saying he suffers from a dissocial and narcissistic personality disorder, but is not psychotic.

The five-judge panel will announce its ruling on August 24. If deemed mentally competent, Breivik is likely to be given Norway's maximum prison term of 21 years.

If declared insane, he would be committed to a mental institution for as long as he is considered a danger to others. Prosecutors suggested that could mean he would be held for the rest of his life.

hnews@herald.ie

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