• Norway's news in English
 

Witnesses recall killer's ruse to get to Utøya

Published: 03 May 2012 17:30 GMT+02:00

"You have a certain level of authority when you arrive in a police uniform," Simen Braeden Mortensen told the Oslo district court on the 11th day of the gunman's trial.

In charge of checking out anyone wanting to go to Utøya, where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp, the young guard recalled how Breivik explained he had been sent as a routine precaution after Oslo's government district was hit by a bomb earlier the same day.

In fact, Breivik himself had set off that bomb, killing eight people.

Braeden Mortensen acknowledged he had been surprised to see the fake officer get out of a grey Fiat van rather than a police vehicle, but had been reassured to see his forged identity card from Norway's PST intelligence agency, which the right-wing extremist was carrying around his neck.

"I thought it was a legitimate police ID," the guard said, as the stony-faced confessed killer, 33, looked on.

After making it past the first control, Breivik was allowed to board the MS Thorbjørn ferry, which had been docked at Utøya after the Oslo attack but had been sent especially to pick up the fake police officer.

Ferry captain Jon Olsen explained in his highly anticipated testimony that he had helped the killer carry a crate which turned out to be full of ammunition.

He also described how he fled with the ferry when Breivik fired his first shots, as his companion, who was the second person shot, lay dead on the ground and his daughter was still stuck on the island.

"I spend most of my time asking myself if I could have acted differently. Each time, I reach the conclusions that I did the right thing," Olsen said.

He explained that the gunman in disguise did not act suspiciously.

"The uniform and all the rest made it look like everything was in order," he said.

But just after unloading the heavy crate that Breivik said was filled with explosive-detection equipment, Olsen saw him shoot and kill his first victim, the camp guard and off-duty police officer Trond Berntsen.

To this day, the ferry captain has trouble remembering if he, seconds later, saw Breivik turn his gun on his companion Monica Bøsei, the camp adminstrator who was considered the island "matriarch".

"I thought it was a training drill, but then on the other hand, I thought that I would have been informed," Olsen told the court.

In panic, he fled on foot, but after a long detour managed to get back to the MS Thorbjørn and took off with several other people who had sought refuge onboard.

"I had to get the boat far from there," out of reach of Breivik's bullets, he explained.

"It was totally quiet. I thought that the sky would soon be filled with helicopters, that the fjord would be covered with boats and flashing lights, but no, nothing," he said.

Breivik spent more than an hour striding around the small island, executing most of his mainly teenaged victims with shots to the head, before he was finally arrested.

After receiving word that his daughter was alive, Olsen contributed to the rescue operation on the island, and helped shuttle injured and dead to the mainland.

While Breivik has confessed to carrying out the twin attacks, he refuses to plead guilty, insisting his attacks were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway keen to join China-led aid bank
Chinese president Xi Jinping with heads of delegations following the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Establishing the AIIB. Photo: AIIB

Norway keen to join China-led aid bank

Norway said on Tuesday that it wanted to join the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, even though Beijing has snubbed Oslo since the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a Chinese dissident. READ  

Norway brings in tough new immigration curbs
Justice Minister Anders Anundsen wants to make it harder for newcomers to Norway to win permanent residency. Photo: Trond Reidar Teigen / NTB scanpix

Norway brings in tough new immigration curbs

Norway wants to make foreigners wait an extra two years before they become eligible for permanent residency, as part as stiff new curbs brought in by the ruling right-wing coalition. READ  

Norwegian sets 60-hour organ marathon record
Nina Irslinger moments after retaking her organ record. Photo: Youtube Screen Grab.

Norwegian sets 60-hour organ marathon record

Norwegian musician Nina Irslinger won back the world record for the longest ever organ recital on Monday night after playing almost continuously for 60 hours. READ  

Norway sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom

Norway sees Ukrainian asylum seeker boom

Norway saw a huge spike in Ukrainians applying for asylum in 2014, according to data released by Eurostat this month and analyzed by The Local. READ  

Atheists equal believers in Norway for first time
Arctic Cathedral in Tromsö: Henrik/Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

Atheists equal believers in Norway for first time

The number of Norwegian atheists now equals those who believe in God for the first time since a key survey began, in a sign of increasing secularization in the once god-fearing nation. READ  

Norway teens charged for hash cake prank
These are not the intoxicating Easter cakes served at a school lunch event in Norway. Cannabis cake photo: Shutterstock

Norway teens charged for hash cake prank

Two Norwegian teenagers have been charged by police after they brought Easter cakes to school loaded with so much marijuana that two teachers were admitted to hospital. READ  

Åkesson interview seen as 'mobbing': report
Photo: TT

Åkesson interview seen as 'mobbing': report

A recent interview with Sweden Democrat head Jimmie Åkesson on the Norwegian-Swedish TV talk show Skavlan has resulted in a storm of complaints in Norway. Many viewers considered it an attack interview. READ  

Doctors in Norway must tell airline if a pilot is ill
A Germanwings flight leaving Dusseldorf. Photo: Gerard van der Schaaf

Doctors in Norway must tell airline if a pilot is ill

If Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz had told a doctor in Norway he was too ill to fly, the doctor would have been required to inform his employer, a medical expert with Norway’s Civil Aviation Authority has claimed. READ  

Norway Pegida head sued for 'paedo' blog
Ronny Alte. Photo: Ronny Alte's blog

Norway Pegida head sued for 'paedo' blog

One of the leaders of the anti-Islamic Pegida movement in Norway has been ordered to pay heavy damages after a prominent scientist was called “a radical left paedo professor” on his blog. 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  

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

2,330
jobs available