• Norway's news in English
 

Man in flames tried to enter Oslo court

Published: 15 May 2012 14:22 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 May 2012 23:01 GMT+02:00

The man had early in the afternoon walked up to a large security tent outside the Oslo district court and sprayed himself, probably with a flammable liquid, before catching fire, a video published on the website of the Verdens Gang (VG) tabloid showed.

"Police officers pulled off his clothes and put out the fire," Kjell Jan Kverme, head of police security operations outside the courthouse, told AFP.

The man was seriously injured and taken to hospital, he added.

Police said the man was Norwegian of foreign origin and that the motives for his action remained unclear.

"We have no reason for the time-being to think this was linked" to the trial of Breivik, who was inside the courthouse when the man set himself ablaze, Kverme said.

The NTB news agency meanwhile reported the man was a 49-year-old desperate welfare client who had shortly before the incident gone to see his lawyer at her nearby office and, when it turned out she was not in, had left an envelope with the words "open if something serious happens to me" scrawled across the front.

When the lawyer returned to her office minutes after he left, she said she had smelled paraffin and had opened the envelope and found a letter rejecting his request for social aid inside, NTB reported.

In the VG video, the man can be seen running with his hat on fire and shouting "Shoot me! Shoot me!", before being tackled by police officers who tear off his burning sweater as he howls in pain on the ground.

Inside the courthouse, on the 19th day of Breivik's trial, young people wounded in his massacre were testifying about the shooting spree on the island of Utøya on July 22nd.

Breivik has been charged with committing terrorist acts when he bombed a government building in Oslo, killing eight people, before shooting dead another 69 in his rampage on Utøya.

The victims were there for a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party's youth wing, and the youngest had just celebrated her 14th birthday.

The 33-year-old right-wing extremist has confessed to the killings but has refused to plead guilty, insisting the shootings were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.

Except for causing many of the journalists covering the trial to rush out, the man who set himself on fire did not disrupt Breivik's trial, which began on April 16th and is set to last until late June.

Ina Rangønes Libak, a 22-year-old, told the court about how she had  survived multiple gunshot wounds on Utøya.

"I remember all the bullets that hit me. When I was hit in the arms, I thought: this is something I can survive. When I was hit in the jaw, I thought: this is more serious. Then I was hit in the chest, and I told myself: you can die from this," she recalled.

Libak had first hidden behind a piano in the cafeteria building where 13 people were killed, and was hit by at least four bullets.

"When you get shot that many times, you don't have enough hands to stop the bleeding," the young blonde said during her testimony, which drew both tears and smiles from onlookers in the courtroom.

Speaking in a clear, determined voice, Libak even made Breivik smile at one point when she recalled her satisfaction, in the name of gender equality, when she saw that the head of the rescue services that helped her on July 22nd was a woman.

While Breivik is expected to be found guilty, his 10-week trial will help determine the tricky question of his sanity and whether he will be sent to prison or to a mental institution.

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 -- 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".

 
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Norway Nepal rescue team stuck in Baku
The Norsar team stretch their legs in Baku. Photo: Norsar

Norway Nepal rescue team stuck in Baku

Norway’s Norsar rescue team, bound for earthquake-hit Nepal with six rescue dogs, has been held up in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, after discovering that there was no more space at Kathmandu airport to land planes. READ  

Norway refuses to send Russian 'hacker' to US
Defence lawyer Frode Sulland argues the Norwegian police were too reliant on FBI evidence. Photo: Thomas Winje Øijord / NTB scanpix

Norway refuses to send Russian 'hacker' to US

A Norwegian court has ruled that a Russian programmer accused of building and selling Trojan computer viruses cannot be extradited to the US because the evidence presented in the case in too weak. READ  

Viking voyages began earlier than thought
A half-size replica of Norway's fames Gokstad viking ship sails into the sunset. Photo: JMV/Flickr

Viking voyages began earlier than thought

Forget about the Viking Age beginning with the brutal sacking of Lindisfarne Priory in 793. According to new research, Norwegian Vikings began long sea voyages at least 70 years earlier, but they came looking for trade not plunder. READ  

Norway study links mental illness to drugs
A needle and some unidentified powder. Photo: Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr

Norway study links mental illness to drugs

A new Norwegian study has shown that alcohol and drug abuse is much more common among patients suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression than in the population at large. READ  

Rescue dogs leave Oslo for Nepal quake
Norwegian Search and Rescue at Oslo's airport on Monday morning. Photo: Leif Gullsteinhovda / NRH / NTB scanpix

Rescue dogs leave Oslo for Nepal quake

A 34-strong Norwegian rescue team - including six rescue dogs - is on the way to Kathmandu to help efforts to find those still trapped by Saturday’s devastating earthquake. READ  

Video
Norway PM celebrated for phone-in-bra trick
Erna Solberg, phone snugly in place, hands over the 2014 Womans' Football Cup. Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB scanpix

Norway PM celebrated for phone-in-bra trick

After Norway's PM Erna Solberg was caught on camera slipping her phone into her bra, Norway’s top tabloid VG has made a video investigating the phenomenon. READ  

Norway drops down happiness ranking
Happy Norwegian's celebrating Constitution Day in Trondheim. Photo: Ivar Husevåg Døskeland/Flickr

Norway drops down happiness ranking

Norway’s hopes of stealing Denmark’s vaunted position as the world’s happiest country have taken a knock, after 'verdens beste land' slipped from second to fourth place in a global ranking of happiness. READ  

Norway allows drilling further north as ice melts
The southerly edge of the Barents' Sea ice. Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

Norway allows drilling further north as ice melts

The Norwegian government has announced that it will open up more of the Barents Sea for oil drilling, as global warming has reduced the size of the protected sea ice zone. READ  

Norway boosts army spend on Russia threat
A Norwegian Leopard 2 tank on exercise. Photo: Soldattnytt/Flickr

Norway boosts army spend on Russia threat

The Norwegian government is to increase military spending by as much as half a billion dollars to boost its defence capability around its northern border with Russia. READ  

Norwegians disapprove of Putin most in world
Russian President at a recent meeting with the President of Argentina.Photo: Kremlin.ru

Norwegians disapprove of Putin most in world

A global opinion survey has shown that 89% of Norwegians disapprove of Putin, a higher share of the population than any other country in the world. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
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

2,288
jobs available
?>