• Norway edition
 
Tears in court at autopsy details from Utøya
Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix

Tears in court at autopsy details from Utøya

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.

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.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Øyer murder suspect back in Norway for trial
First images from inside court: Kim Andreas Kristiansen (right) with defence lawyer Geir Lippestad. Photo: Marte Christensen / NTB scanpix

Øyer murder suspect back in Norway for trial

Kim Andreas Kristiansen, the man charged with killing his step-father in Øyer, has appeared in court in Norway on Monday after being extradited from Holland. READ  

Samurai sword attack at Norway wedding
Two Norwegian wedding guests were stabbed by attackers in Skedsmo. Photo: Shutterstock

Samurai sword attack at Norway wedding

Wedding guests in the town of Skedsmo, central Norway, watched in horror as two men were attacked with a Samurai sword on Sunday. READ  

Norway's teachers' strike over as unions agree
Pupils return to Norway schools from Tuesday after teachers' conflicts resolved. Photo: Shutterstock

Norway's teachers' strike over as unions agree

Agreement has been reached about teachers' working hours, ending the strikes that have disrupted Norway for over two weeks, it was announced on Monday. READ  

Base jumper dies in Oslo ski ramp plunge
Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Base jumper dies in Oslo ski ramp plunge

An unidentified person was found dead after a failed base jump at the Holmenkollen ski jump ramp in Oslo on Sunday. READ  

Plane forced to emergency land in Oslo
The Novair Airbus plane with a punctured tire performs an emergency landing in Oslo Gardermoen. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

Plane forced to emergency land in Oslo

A plane carrying 191 passengers had to circle over Oslo for hours before emergency landing at Gardermoen airport after a suspected flat tyre after taking off on Sunday. READ  

Ebola threat to Norway: Sweden fears first case

Ebola threat to Norway: Sweden fears first case

Sweden has confirmed a suspected case of Ebola on Sunday, making it possibly the first Nordic case of the virus. READ  

Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
A Norwegian from Nord-Trøndelag used his cement truck to pour ice water over his head for a unique Ice Bucket Challenge. Photo: Shutterstock

Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'

A 29-year old man from Stjørdal, central Norway, raised the bar for ice bucket challengers everywhere when he had 7,000 litres of freezing water poured over him from his cement mixer truck on Saturday. READ  

 Boom in electric car sales under fire
Electric cars charging. Photo: NTB/Scanpix

Boom in electric car sales under fire

Politicians in Norway are under increasing public pressure to reduce perks and tax breaks for electric car oweners after sales of the vehicles have grown sharply. READ  

Thirsty cyclists mistake soap for soft-drink
Cyclists in Norway were hospitalized after drinking washing detergent 'Omo', believing it was a sports drink.. Photo: Bård Idås / NTB scanpix

Thirsty cyclists mistake soap for soft-drink

Six cyclists in Norway were sent to hospital on Friday after drinking a soap detergent they thought was a sports drink. READ  

Norway asks EU to sanction Hungary
Minister for European Affairs Vidar Helgesen. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Norway asks EU to sanction Hungary

Tensions between Norway and Hungary escalated after the Nordic country on Thursday asked the EU to consider sanctions against the eastern European country. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
Features
Meet Norway's raining kings of fashion
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
National
Norway lifts Segway ban
Culture
GALLERY: Ten great songs about Norway
Society
Høie promises to reform sex change law
Education
Norway fjord invaded by monster jellyfish
Culture
VIDEO: Norwegian anti-Facebook film goes viral
Culture
Norway pop duo hits number 4 on US charts
Sport
Norway fan wins big on Suarez bite bet
National
Solberg 'most chatty' leader on Twitter
Culture
British Airways takes 'Slow TV' to the skies
International
Top Norway lawyers back Snowden Nobel
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

332
jobs available