• 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
Researcher: Norwegian politicians should stay out of US election
Minister of Climate and Environment Vidar Helgesen. Photo: Håkon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix

Norwegian politicians have no business getting involved in the US presidential election, says Hilmar Mjelde from the University of Bergen.

Norwegian minister: Immigration reforms inadequate
Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug. Photo: Lise Åserud/NTB Scanpix

Integration Minister Sylvi Listhaug of the anti-immigration Progress Party warned that further immigration and asylum restrictions may be on the way.

Tourist presumed dead after Norwegian waterfall drop
Photo: Ned Alley/NTB Scanpix

An American tourist is feared dead after falling from a height of at least 20 metres into a waterfall late Sunday afternoon.

Number of Norwegians joining Isis in decline
Ubaydullah Hussain and his lawyer, Hilde Wiig Nicolaysen. Hussain was charged with recruiting foreign fighters to the terror group. Photo: Terje Pedersen / NTB scanpix

A number of recently published reports from Scandinavian intelligence services suggest that Isis recruitment peaked across Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia in 2013/2014.

Man kicked off Norwegian flight over 'Isis tattoo'
A Norwegian plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

A Norwegian flight from Sweden was delayed after it was claimed that one of the passengers had an Isis flag tattooed on his arm.

Norway terror: Five years later
Norway PM: ‘Time does not heal all wounds’
PM Erna Solberg, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit lay wreaths in Oslo on Friday as Norway marks five years since the terror attack that killed 77 people. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt

Norwegian PM Erna Solberg addressed the nation on Friday as Norway marked the fifth anniversary of a right-wing fanatic’s hateful terrorist attack.

Norway terror: Five years later
Norway's open values intact five years after Breivik attack
The inscription reads: "If one man can display so much hate, think of how much love we can all display together". Photo: Dennis Lehmann/Scanpix

"If July 22nd, 2011 was a test for democracy, I think one can say we have passed it."

Man who fired on Norway police used starter's gun
File photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt / NTB scanpix

The Bergen man who precipitated Monday’s rare police shooting fired on officers with a starter police.

Norwegian skier stripped of wins over asthma mistake
Martin Sundby competing in the Oslo Skishow last month. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix

Norwegian cross country skier Martin Sundby has been deprived of his wins in the 2015 Tour de Ski and banned for two months for using a banned asthma drug.

Norway is the best at doing what the EU says
Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway tops the Internal Market Scoreboard for the third year running.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
National
Danish scientist: Mysterious 'blue blob' caused by weather
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Education
Norwegian school permits burkini in swimming classes
Norway's ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
National
Norway makes ‘biggest sovereignty concession’ to EU in years
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
International
Norway boosts defence against Russia threat
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars
National
FACT-CHECK: No, Norway isn’t banning diesel and petrol cars – yet
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
National
Norway aims to be climate-neutral by 2030
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
National
Migrant numbers plunge as Norway now 'less attractive'
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Record number of kids mark Norway's National Day
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
Travel
Take a ride on Norway's most spectacular road
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
National
All 13 on board die in Norway helicopter crash
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
National
Norway violated mass murderer's human rights: court
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Lifestyle
Modern-day Norwegian Viking conquers Instagram
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
National
Global protests condemn 'legal kidnapping' in Norway
Norway to allow gay church weddings
Society
Church of Norway to allow same-sex weddings
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
National
'No means no': Norway sends migrants on anti-rape courses
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Society
For first time, majority in Norway don’t believe in God
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Health
Norway preps 'breakthrough' on gender change
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
National
Breivik says he'll fight 'to the death' for Nazism
2,085
jobs available