Breivik trial ends in Norway with walkout by families

The boycott of his remarks was aimed at Breivik and not the court itself

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik has ended in Norway with a walkout by families of victims in protest at his attempts to justify the massacre.

As he took the stand to explain why he had killed 77 people last July, some 30 people filed out of the courtroom.

Saying he had acted to stop a Muslim invasion, he asked to be considered sane and to be acquitted.

Judges will deliver their verdict on 24 August. The prosecution is asking for Breivik to be deemed insane.

Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said his client had been driven by extreme politics.

Start Quote

The mother of these actions is not violence, it is an extreme, radical, political attitude”

End Quote Geir Lippestad Lawyer for Breivik

The trial's final day also heard poignant testimony from people affected directly by the attacks.

Breivik, 33, admits killing 77 people and injuring 242 on 22 July when he bombed government buildings in Oslo before shooting young Labour Party supporters at a camp on the island of Utoeya.

His request for acquittal was a legal formality because he does not accept the charges of terrorism and premeditated murder against him.

Memorials to Breivik's victims will be built at the two attack sites, the government announced on Friday.

Boycott

Breivik's address to the court, as well as testimony from survivors and victims' relatives, was not broadcast.

Ros Atkins went to Norway to meet some of those directly affected by Anders Breivik

The boycott of his remarks was aimed at Breivik and not the court itself, the victims' support group involved made clear.

Start Quote

It's not about his mental health - it's about us never seeing him on the street again”

End Quote Bereaved mother

The BBC's Lars Bevanger, who was in court, said the group felt there was no more that Breivik could add.

"He has a right to talk - we have no duty to listen," support group member Christian Bjelland said.

Taking the stand, Breivik spent 45 minutes going over his reasons for the attacks.

Reading from a prepared statement, he attacked everything he disliked about his country, ranging from non-ethnic Norwegian contestants being allowed to represent Norway at Eurovision to the effect of the TV series Sex And The City on public morals.

Citing statistics about Muslim birth rates, he said he had made his attacks to prevent Norway from becoming a "multicultural hell".

'Extreme, radical, political'

It was, Mr Lippestad stressed on Friday morning, for the court to decide whether his client had been sane at the time of the attacks.

22 July attacks

Victims of the 22 July attacks in Norway
  • 8 people killed and 209 injured by bomb in Oslo
  • 69 people killed on Utoeya island, of them 34 aged between 14 and 17
  • 33 injured on Utoeya
  • Nearly 900 people affected by attacks

"The mother of these actions is not violence, it is an extreme, radical, political attitude, and his actions must be perceived from the point of view of right-wing extremist culture," he said.

He described his client as an ordinary young man with good friends and colleagues. How, he asked, would a man who was mentally ill have been allowed to join a shooting club?

Nothing in Breivik's life up until the "inferno of violence" on 22 July had indicated he was a violent person, the lawyer argued.

The prosecution said they were not convinced Breivik was psychotic but there was enough doubt to ask for him to be found unaccountable for his actions.

Choking back tears, an unnamed, bereaved mother told the court what it was like to lose her daughter in the Oslo blast.

She said she had decided to attend the trial for the sake of her dead daughter.

"I decided not to be afraid of Breivik. I wanted to follow the trial. I wanted to do it for my daughter."

A mother who lost a child on Utoeya said all the focus on Breivik's mental health had been draining.

"It's not about his mental health," she told the court. "It's about us never seeing him on the street again."

More on This Story

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • John CurticeScotland decides

    Referendum race 'may have got tighter'


  • RihannaCloud caution

    After celebrity leaks, what can you do to safeguard your photos?


  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?


  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?


  • Rack of lambFavourite feast

    Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.