• Norway's news in English
 

Breivik offers apology to non-political victims

Published: 23 Apr 2012 10:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Apr 2012 18:41 GMT+02:00

He also insisted that not only his victims and their families had their lives ruined on July 22nd: "I also lost everything," he lamented to the court.

For the first time since his trial started on April 16, the 33-year-old right-wing extremist voiced a small ounce of regret for his actions.

Breivik said: "I would like to offer a large apology" to those who were injured or killed in the bombing of an Oslo government building, as they were just passing by and had no political connections.

But when prosecutor Enga Bejer Engh asked if he wanted to say the same to any of the 69 people -- mainly teens -- he slaughtered in his shooting massacre on the nearby island of Utøya after the bombing, Breivik said: "No, I do not."

He reiterated that the youngsters attending a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party's youth wing were "legitimate targets", since he claims they were "political activists" working for the "deconstruction of Norwegian society" through the multiculturalism he insists is leading to a "Muslim invasion" of the country.

Instead, he insisted that "everyone who is linked to the (government) and the Labour Party ... should issue a large apology" to the Norwegian people.

In his own apology, Breivik mentioned in particular Kai Hauge, a 32-year-old man who was killed as he walked past the government building when it was bombed.

Hauge's mother Sølvi rejected the apology. "It is of course not enough," she told the Aftenposten daily's online edition, adding: "We will never get Kai back."

Jon Hestnes, who represents survivors and family of the victims of the Oslo bombing, meanwhile described Breivik's apology as surprising and insincere.

"I think it was pathetic. It doesn't help that he said that. There was no expression in his body language showing that he meant what he said," he told public broadcaster NRK.

On Friday, Breivik gave his account of events on Utøya, providing chilling details of how he calmly walked across the island, picking off his victims, one by one, shooting most of them point-blank in the head.

And on Monday, the sixth day of his trial, he faced cross examination from the prosecution about the deadliest massacre ever committed by a sole gunman.  

He again described his massacre showing no emotion, and insisted it was "cruel but necessary."

He stressed the shooting spree had been a "gruesome" experience for him as well, and that he had to force himself to carry it out since it felt so "against human nature."

It was almost like "being asked to eat a plate of excrement," he said.

He explained his years of meditation to "de-emotionalize" himself as an "indoctrination technique ... where I look at all political activists as monsters."

Yet when he was there, walking among the dead bodies, "I thought to myself that it was gruesome... I have never done anything so gruesome before," he said, acknowledging though that "it was probably more gruesome for the people I was hunting."

But, he insisted, "this is a small barbarity to avoid a larger barbarity."

He also stressed that not only the families of his victims had had their lives ruined.

"One should remember that on July 22nd I also lost ... my entire family, all my friends... I also lost everything," he told the court.

When asked if he meant that people should feel sorry for him, he quickly responded: "Of course not."

Breivik, who was dressed as a policeman during his more than hour-long shooting spree, also told the court he tried to lure a large group out into the open at one point by telling them he was there to evacuate them.

While many seemed skeptical, "two or three seemed relieved (and) came towards me... Then I raised my Glock (pistol) and shot a girl in the head... There was panic (and) I shot the others too," he said.

He said he had not realized that so many people on the island would be under 18 -- 33 of those killed were minors -- but that he only considered the two 14-year-olds as children.

And even if he had known there would be so many youngsters present "I would do it again," he said, reiterating that he had wanted to kill all 569 people on the island that day.

He reiterated that he had spared the lives of two people, a girl and a boy, whom he deemed too young, and said he had not shot one man, Adrian Pracon, as "He did not look like a Marxist... He looked like someone like me."

"The reason he gave for not killing me was shocking," Pracon told the VG daily's online edition, recalling how the killer had pointed his rifle at him and then suddenly walked away.

"It is sickening that he played my god, that he decided over who would live and die," he added.

The confessed killer said several others in Norway were "more deserving of execution than the Labour Party youth," adding that if he had managed to attack a journalists conference, as originally planned, "I might have enjoyed" the slaughter.

Breivik had been scheduled to testify on Monday about his sanity, which is the main issue of contention during the trial, which is scheduled to last 10 weeks. But that was postponed until later so he could finish testifying about Utøya.

He has been charged with "acts of terror" and faces either 21 years in prison -- a sentence that could thereafter be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society -- or closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.

A first court-ordered psychiatric exam found him insane, while a second opinion came to the opposite conclusion.

A panel of experts who examined the validity of the second psychiatric evaluation have asked its two authors to provide additional information, noting several weaknesses in their report, the court announced on Monday.

The confessed killer wants to be found sane and accountable for his actions, so that his anti-Islam ideology, as presented in the 1,500-page manifesto he published online just before the attacks, will be taken seriously and not considered the ravings of a lunatic.

He lamented on Monday that his sanity was being questioned.

"If I had been a bearded Jihadi there would be no report at all... There would not be a need for a psychiatric evaluation," he said, maintaining he was the victim of "clear racism."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish feminist party launches in Oslo
Maverick politician Gudrun Schyman. Photo: Mimika Kirgios

Swedish feminist party launches in Oslo

The feminist party which came close to entering parliament in last year’s Swedish election launched in Oslo on Thursday night, selecting its first candidate to compete in the city’s municipal elections. READ  

Norway and UK to build longest subsea cable
The signing of the deal at the British embassy in Oslo. Photo: British embassy

Norway and UK to build longest subsea cable

Norway and the UK have agreed to build the world’s longest undersea cable, capable of bringing enough low-carbon Norwegian hydropower to the UK to supply 750,000 British households. READ  

Bomb squad called to Oslo synagogue
Oslo's synagogue. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Bomb squad called to Oslo synagogue

Norway police evacuated the area around Oslo's synagogue on Thursday night after a man was reported leaving a "suspicious object". By 10pm, bomb specialists had judged the object harmless. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Norwegian: two people in cockpit at all times
A library image of a Norwegian plane. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT / NTB scanpix

Norwegian: two people in cockpit at all times

Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has said it will require two people to be in the cockpit at all times for safety reasons, following suspicions that a co-pilot deliberately crashed a Germanwings flight in France on Tuesday. READ  

'Beautiful mind' wins Norway maths 'Nobel'
John F. Nash Jr. and Louis Nirenberg. Photo: NYU Photo Bureau:Hollenshead (Louis Nirenberg) and Peter Badge/NYU Photo Bureau:Hollenshead

'Beautiful mind' wins Norway maths 'Nobel'

Two Americans described as "mathematical giants of the 20th century", including John Nash of "A Beautiful Mind" fame, won Norway's prestigious Abel Prize on Wednesday. READ  

A-ha to tour five years after 'farewell' gig

A-ha to tour five years after 'farewell' gig

Norwegian pop band A-ha, who have sold more than 35 million albums since they first topped the charts in the 1980s, announced a comeback on Wednesday just five years after their last break-up. READ  

Climate change shrinking reindeer pastures: Nina
A strolling reindeer. Photo: Alexandre Buisse/Wikimedia

Climate change shrinking reindeer pastures: Nina

Climate change and overgrazing are causing a growing shortage of the lichen Norway’s reindeers depend on for food, a new report from the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (Nina) has warned. READ  

Crematorium tried to use bodies to heat houses
Alfaset Crematorium in Oslo. Photo: Olahå/Wikimedia Commons

Crematorium tried to use bodies to heat houses

A crematorium in Oslo tried to connect its ovens to the local district heating system so that it could use heat from burned bodies to warm houses across the city. But the local utility felt there were "ethical issues". READ  

Extra jail for pair who drowned toddler on MSN
The entrance to Oslo's Appeals Court. Photo: Anne-Sophie Ofrim/WIkimedia

Extra jail for pair who drowned toddler on MSN

A Norwegian appeals court on Tuesday added an extra six and seven years to the jail sentences faced by a Norwegian woman who drowned her toddler and her British lover, who goaded her on through a web cam. READ  

'Salmon is Norway's Ikea', PM claims
Ikea's globally recognized brand/Some Salmon. Photo: Håkan Dahlström/Flickr. Melissa Doroquez/Flickr

'Salmon is Norway's Ikea', PM claims

Enough of Swedish snidery over their country’s bigger industries and corporations. According to Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, “Salmon is Norway’s IKEA”. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
As it happened: Denmark rocked by terror attack
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Sport
Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,314
jobs available