Killer Anders Breivik: why I did it – and would do so again

Apr 17, 2012
Linda Palermo

Norwegian extremist who admits mass murder tells court he was 'motivated by goodness'

Hakon Mosvold Larsen

Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in two attacks in Norway last year, salutes as he enters the Oslo district courtroom at the opening of his trial. Breivik told the court that he did not recognise its legitimacy.

NORWEGIAN Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who killed 77 people in bomb and gun attacks last July, told an Oslo court this morning that he would "do it all again because my actions were motivated by goodness not evil" in a wide-ranging and confused speech that brought in Enoch Powell, Mark Twain, General Custer and Chief Sitting Bull.

His long and rambling 13-page statement ran for an hour and ten minutes - 40 minutes over the agreed half hour he was granted. Breivik showed no remorse for his actions and continued to pin the blame on the Norwegian Labour party for imposing multiculturalism on his country. Breivik said he could not plead guilty for he had "acted to defend my country".

Breivik also claimed that his attacks were "preemptive to protect Norway" and demanded that he be acquitted. Earlier he had boasted of having "carried out the most spectacular and sophisticated attack on Europe since World War II" and claimed that "people will understand me one day and see that multiculturalism has failed. If I am right, how can what I did be illegal?"

The 33-year-old delivered his speech to the court without TV cameras running, the authorities having decided it would be too traumatic for survivors of last year's attacks to listen to it unedited. Breivik was closely watched throughout his speech by forensic psychiatrists who will be consulted when the court considers whether Breivik is clinically insane.

Breivik attacked the way that he had been presented in the media following the attacks, saying that he had been wrongly accused of having an incestuous relationship with his mother. He also refuted allegations that he was involved in paedophilia and necrophilia.

Invoking the spirit of the right-wing British politician Enoch Powell's famous 'rivers of blood' speech, Breivik predicted social and economic collapse for countries that maintained multicultural systems and referred to the recent attacks in Toulouse as vindication of his beliefs. Following his statement the court went into recess for lunch.

There had been drama at the beginning of the day after it was revealed in a local tabloid that one of the lay judges hearing the case had called for the death penalty for Breivik.

Lay judge Thomas Inderbro, a 33-year-old receptionist, took to Facebook on July 23 last year - the day after Breivik's rampage - to say that the "The death penalty is the only just thing to do!!!!!!!!!!" The revelation by by the Norwegian tabloid VG led to the court going into emergency private session before Inderbro was replaced.

Under Norwegian law, courts are made up of two professional judges and three lay judges, who are chosen by ballot from a list of volunteers. Luckily, there is also a reserve on hand.

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