• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Tears in court at autopsy details from Utøya

AFP · 4 May 2012, 17:38

Published: 04 May 2012 14:56 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 May 2012 17:38 GMT+02:00

On the 12th day of the right-wing extremist's trial, the Oslo district court heard a clinical explanation of how the first nine victims died before being given more intimate descriptions, illustrated with photographs of the same people when they were alive.

Most of the 69 people killed on the small, heart-shaped island near Oslo on July 22nd were teens attending a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party.

The lawyers representing survivors and victims' family members visibly fought back tears as they sketched brief but moving pictures of the dead based on testimony gathered from their loved ones.

The first person Breivik shot, camp guard and off-duty police officer Trond Berntsen, was thus described as "the best dad in the world," as a picture of him holding his two young children was projected on a screen in the courtroom.

And Lejla Selaci "was a girl who spread laughter and joy. She was known for always fighting for justice, solidarity and democracy," another lawyer told the court with a trembling voice, referring to a bubbly girl shot dead at just 17.

The descriptions provoked an anguished yet dignified display of emotions from many of the relatives, including children and younger siblings, seated in the courtroom: some broke down in tears, some embraced and others left the room.

Sitting just a few metres from Breivik, a teenager listened with a blank face to the description of how the killer had deprived her and her three siblings of their mother.

Breivik himself however showed no emotion, as has largely been the case since his trial began on April 16th.

The 33-year-old confessed killer remained stony-faced and aloof as he looked through a folder in front of him with pictures of the dead as they were found on Utøya, and again as he watched the coroner show on a life-size doll how bullets penetrated each body.

As he has since the beginning of the trial, he appeared to be taking notes under the scrutinising gaze of four psychiatric experts appointed by the court to review his mental state.

Breivik "was probably the only one who didn't have goose bumps or was crying," young Utøya survivor Sondre Lindhagen Nilssen told the Aftenposten daily's online edition.

The list of Breivik's victims on Utøya is so long that it is expected to take all of next week to go through all the post-mortem reports.

Of the 69 people who died on the island, 67 were shot to death, while the remaining two died from a fall and drowning, Torleiv Ole Rognum of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health told the court.

Most were hit by two or three bullets -- up to eight had been pulled from one body -- and a full 56 of the victims had been shot in the head, Rognum said, revealing how Breivik had systematically executed his victims.

As he strode around the island shooting for more than an hour, Breivik had among other things used fragmentation bullets typically used when hunting large game.

"They create thousands of small fragments that you cannot see with the naked eye," Rognum explained.

Before he went on his rampage on Utøya, Breivik had bombed the government building housing the offices of Labour Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who was not harmed in the attack that killed eight people.

Story continues below…

While Breivik, who has been charged with committing "acts of terror," has confessed to carrying out the twin attacks, he refuses to plead guilty, insisting they were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.

Although he is certain to be found guilty, his 10-week trial should determine the question of his sanity.

If the court finds him sane, Breivik will face Norway's maximum 21-year prison sentence, but that term can be extended for as long as he is considered a threat to society.

If he is found criminally insane however, he will be sent to a closed psychiatric care unit for treatment.

That is a fate Breivik, who is intent upon showing that his anti-Islam ideology is not the ravings of a lunatic, has described as "worse than death".

Five judges will decide whether he should be considered sane or not when they hand down their verdict in mid-July.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway's 'effective' border checks extended
All arriving ferry passengers will still be subject to checks. Photo: NTB Scanpix

Norway's 'effective' border checks extended
20 hours ago

The Norwegian government said on Friday it would extend border checks for an additional 30 days.

Every tenth 12-year-old boy in Norway drinks
Photo: Vegard Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Every tenth 12-year-old boy in Norway drinks
22 hours ago

Three percent of boys also say they've been drunk in the past month.

Norway Child Welfare Service faces growing global protests
The Facebook group 'Norway, Give Us Back the Children You Stole' says more than 60,000 people have protested against Barnevernet in cities around the world, including Prague shown here. Photo: Norway,

Norway Child Welfare Service faces growing global protests
1 day ago

Norwegian embassies around the world have seen demonstrations over what critics say is an over-aggresive child welfare agency.

US rockers to hit Oslo on first tour since Paris attacks
Eagles of Death Metal at a 2007 performance at Øyafestivalen. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum / SCANPIX

US rockers to hit Oslo on first tour since Paris attacks
1 day ago

The Eagles of Death Metal will play the Norwegian capital this weekend as they return to the road following the Paris attacks.

Norway issues new Zika advice for pregnant women
File photo. Flickr: coniferconifer

Norway issues new Zika advice for pregnant women
2 days ago

Health officials have new recommendations for minimizing the risk of contracting the Zika virus through sexual conduct.

Extreme Islamism and far-right pose threats to Norway
Justice Minister Anders Anundsen and PST head Benedicte Bjørnland presented the nation's terror assessment in Oslo. Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

Extreme Islamism and far-right pose threats to Norway
2 days ago

Although Norway's overall terror threat is slightly decreased there are still several factors that threaten the nation.

Chinese fund offers $1.2b for Norway's Opera web company
Photo: Opera

Chinese fund offers $1.2b for Norway's Opera web company
2 days ago

UPDATED: The world's fifth most used web browser may soon be in Chinese hands.

Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST
Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Scanpix

Russian spying can 'damage' Norway: PST
3 days ago

In its annual threat assessment, PST said that Russian spies have major “damage potential” for Norwegian interests.

After 36 years, 'mystery films' shown in Norway
The American sent himself the package in 1980 but never picked it up. Photo: Kjell-Erik Ruud/Instagram

After 36 years, 'mystery films' shown in Norway
3 days ago

As proof that sometimes mysteries are better left unsolved, Tuesday’s public viewing of three film reels left unclaimed in a Norwegian hotel for 36 years was somewhat anticlimactic.

How to vote as an American expat in Norway
Even if you won't be anywhere near this ballot box in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire – or anywhere else in the US – you can still take help decide the next US president. Photo: Mike Segar/Scanpix

How to vote as an American expat in Norway
3 days ago

As The US presidential voting season is well underway with the first primary elections in New Hampshire, The Local looks at how American citizens can cast their ballots from outside the US.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
National
Norway police to go back to being unarmed
Health
Norway ads use Hitler teddy bear to scare parents... about dust
National
Migrants: Norway 'sending us to death' in Russia
Norway under fire over tough new asylum plans
Health
Norway doctors push plan for 'tobacco-free generation'
National
Norway's call to remove crosses causes backlash
Politics
Norway tightens asylum policy to cut numbers
Society
The end of the expat? European cities fight for innovative 'inpats'
Education
Hiker finds 1,200-yr-old Viking sword in Norway
National
Oslo eyes ban on private cars from city centre in green push
Culture
Family shocked as The Scream appears in a freshly sawn plank
National
AS-IT-HAPPENED: Nobel Peace Prize announcement 2015
National
Norway armed forces to get organic underwear
International
Syrians cross Norway's Arctic border on bicycles
Society
Norwegians reveal the (hilariously inaccurate) origins of the Danish language
National
Norway man built secret child's room in cellar
Education
Norway starts school for Vikings
Sport
Sepp Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
2,231
jobs available