Witness relates trauma in Anders Behring Breivik trial
- 24 April 2012
- From the section Europe
A security guard has described the trauma of seeing last July's car bomb blast set off by Anders Behring Breivik at Norway's government headquarters.
Tor Inge Kristoffersen told the Oslo court he watched on CCTV as a van parked and a man wearing what looked like a guard's uniform got out.
Mr Kristoffersen said he zoomed in on the number plate before the vehicle exploded killing eight people.
Breivik has admitted the bombing and subsequent shootings on Utoeya island.
The police officer who co-ordinated the response to the explosion, Thor Langli, also took the witness stand and described how the bomb squad started to look for further bombs.
Mr Langli said the police were told a witness at the scene had seen a small car leaving the area, but he felt he could not take any officers away from the site to follow this up.
The number plate of the small car was reported at a fairly early stage, he said, but if CCTV footage had been relayed live to the police, this might have saved vital minutes and could have given them the opportunity to pursue it, he added.
Earlier, during his evidence, Mr Kristoffersen gave more details of the moment the bomb exploded: "Half of our screens, the images disappeared. There was a deep rumbling, the entire block shook, the ceiling bent like water."
Many of the cameras were destroyed, but when the smoke cleared, he could see bodies lying in the streets.
Even though water was pouring through the roof of the basement where he was located because of broken pipes, the guard managed to save the CCTV recordings.
These provided crucial evidence showing Breivik dressed in a uniform walking away from the vehicle.
Mr Kristoffersen also spoke of one colleague who died in the blast, and of others who were no longer able to work as a result of the psychological effects of the bombing.
Another witness, civil engineer Svein Olav Christensen, said the bomb contained the equivalent of up to 700kg (1,500lb) of TNT explosive.
He showed a picture of a two-metre-wide (6.5ft) hole created by the bomb that went straight down into the underground parking area.
Breivik watched the witnesses in court without any visible emotion.
He spent the past week giving his own version of events, saying his plan was to kill as many people as possible.
He said he had hoped the car bomb would cause the whole government building to collapse.
After the explosion, he went to Utoeya island where he killed a further 69 people at a Labour Party youth camp.
He denies criminal responsibility for the killings, saying he was defending Norway from multiculturalism.
The trial in Oslo will decide whether he is sane. A state psychiatric commission requested further clarification on the second of two psychiatric reports, which concluded he was sane and accountable for his actions.
The first report found him legally insane.
Depending on whether he is found sane or not, he faces either prison or committal to a psychiatric institution.
Breivik said he would do "anything to prevent" committal to a hospital.
Breivik was allocated five days in total to give evidence, with the entire proceedings expected to last 10 weeks.