• Norway's news in English
 

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.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway could be Europe's 'green battery'
A dam in Norway managed by the state-owned power company Statkraft: Photo: Google Photos/Statkraft

Norway could be Europe's 'green battery'

Norway could become the “green battery of Europe” by using its hydropower plants to provide instant extra electricity if production from wind and solar power sources in other countries fade. READ  

Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin
FIFA President Sepp Blatter shakes hands with Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, during the Preliminary Draw on Saturday. Photo: Fifa/Getty Images

Blatter should win Nobel Peace Prize: Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin has called for Sepp Blatter, the scandal-hit head of the international football body Fifa, to get the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in international sport. READ  

The Local List
The oddest TripAdvisor comments about Norway
The truly amazing Preikestolen. Photo: JurrianH

The oddest TripAdvisor comments about Norway

Norway plays host to around 5m tourists every year. They’re attracted by the sensational scenery, the wonderful cities, the culture and the happy Norwegians. But not everyone who visits finds Norway quite so charming. READ  

Oslo bishop - ‘I will not marry same-sex couples’
Per Arne Dahl. Photo: Trond Reidat Teigen / NTB Scanpix

Oslo bishop - ‘I will not marry same-sex couples’

Per Arne Dahl, the newest of Oslo’s 12 bishops, told the Norwegian newspaper, Tønsbergs Blad on Monday, that he would not officiate at gay or lesbian weddings. READ  

Norway makes world record ice cream cone
Photo: Hennig Olsen

Norway makes world record ice cream cone

Norwegian ice-cream maker, Hennig Olsen, unveiled the world’s largest-ever ice cream cone in front of 9,000 people at the start of Sunday’s Tall Ships Race at Kristianstad. READ  

Despite Netflix blow Lilyhammer ‘not dead’
Steven Van Zandt, star of Lilyhammer. Photo: Vida Ruud / NTB scanpix

Despite Netflix blow Lilyhammer ‘not dead’

TV giant Netflix confirmed on Thursday that it won’t be making any more episodes of the popular TV series Lilyhammer starring Steven Van Zandt, although Petter Wallace of co-producer NRK has claimed that Netflix merely represents “an investor who’s withdrawing.” READ  

Norwegian man visited in nursing home by pony
Bolla visiting Karl Holmen. Photo: Sarah Holmen

Norwegian man visited in nursing home by pony

89-year-old Karl Holmen was sad that he was too unwell to visit the new foal born to his granddaughter’s Susan's horse – but Susan devised a plan to cheer him up. READ  

Three Danes found dead in Norwegian park
Swedish and Norwegian rescue workers found the three Danes on Thursday. Photo: NTB / scanpix

Three Danes found dead in Norwegian park

Three Danish citizens were found dead late on Thursday in Rogen Lake on the Swedish-Norwegian border. READ  

Liberals propose end of dual citizenship ban
Sveinung Rotevatn of the Liberal Party. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Liberals propose end of dual citizenship ban

Sveinung Rotevatn, a Liberal member of the employment and social affairs committee, told NRK on Wednesday that the Liberals, one of the government’s two support parties in Parliament, want to make it easier for foreigners who have settled in Norway to achieve dual citizenship. READ  

Queen Sonja comes to aid of Norwegian teens
Queen Sonja. Photo: Lisa Åserud

Queen Sonja comes to aid of Norwegian teens

Two teenagers who came to the aid of an injured girl off the island of Tjøme this week after the girl fell off a boat, were offered assistance by Queen Sonja who was spending her summer holidays at her family’s vacation home nearby. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Experts baffled by freak downpour in Norway
Culture
VIDEO: Norway artist's naked tree stunt goes awry
National
Dude, where's my house? Avalanche smashes Norway farmhouse
Health
Norway scientists find secret behind gluten intolerance
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
National
Oslo is the crystal meth capital of Europe
Sport
VIDEO: Man in Norway catches fish too big for boat
International
'Snowden could come to Norway to collect prize'
Technology
Oslo builds world's first bumblebee highway
Culture
World’s biggest elk statue arrives in Oslo
Norway's men soon to be among Europe's fattest
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
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
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'
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

2,224
jobs available