In Brief

Anders Breivik gives Nazi salute on return to court

Jailed Norwegian killer defiant on first day of lawsuit against state's 'inhuman treatment'

Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik has given a Nazi salute on the first day of his court case against the Norwegian authorities.

Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, claims his human rights have been violated because he has been kept in isolation for almost five years.

His lawyer, Oystein Storrvik, accused the state of "inhuman treatment" in his opening statement, claiming his client's plight was worse than the death penalty.

Before the hearing, Storrvik said Breivik had been "very stressed due to his isolation" in Skien prison, about 60 miles south-west of the capital Oslo.

"One of his main things to do [in prison] was to study and he has stopped that now and I feel that is a sign that isolation has been negative to his psychological health," he said.

Norway's attorney general's office has insisted that conditions are "well within the limits of what is permitted" under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court hearing, which is being held in the high security compounds of Skien prison's gymnasium, is expected to run until Friday.

Should it decide that prison conditions are so strict they violate Breivik's human rights, it could order an easing of restrictions.

However, doctors are expected to testify that he is not suffering, says The Guardian.

"There are limits to his contacts with the outside world, which are of course strict… but he is not totally excluded from all contact with other people," said state lawyer Marius Emberland. He pointed to Breivik's contact with professionals, albeit from behind a glass partition.

Breivik was given Norway's maximum 21-year sentence in August 2012 for killing eight people in a bomb attack outside a government building in Oslo and then murdering another 69, most of them teenagers, in a rampage at a political camp for young people on the island of Utoya.

During the initial trial Breivik said he would "do it all again because my actions were motivated by goodness not evil" and cited the "necessary war against the Islamisation of Europe" as one of his motives.

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