• Norway's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Breivik civil case
Breivik makes Nazi salute as civil trial begins
Domestic terrorist and convicted mass murderer Anders Breivik. Photo: Lise Åserud/NTB Scanpix

Breivik makes Nazi salute as civil trial begins

Pierre-Henry Deshayes/AFP/The Local · 15 Mar 2016, 13:54

Published: 15 Mar 2016 08:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Mar 2016 13:54 GMT+01:00

Despite the theatrical entrance, Breivik's lawyer Øystein Storrvik insisted the suit, which contends his prison isolation constitutes "inhuman" treatment, was necessary because his client would likely be spending the rest of his life behind bars.
 
"This case is about something much more than what many people think, just a lawsuit brought to allow Breivik back into the spotlight to explain himself," Storrvik said.
 
"This case is simply about his detention conditions for the rest of his life," he said in the makeshift courtroom set up in the gymnasium of the Skien prison where the killer is being held and where a climbing wall, two basketball hoops and exercise bars were visible.
 
 
Breivik is serving a maximum 21-year sentence for killing eight people in a bomb attack outside a government building in Oslo in July 2011, then murdering another 69 people, most of them teenagers, in a rampage at a Labour Youth camp on the island of Utøya.
 
His prison sentence can be extended if he is still considered a danger to society.
 
Sporting a shaved head and a dark suit with a white shirt, Breivik entered the courtroom, turned toward the media present and extended his right arm.
 
On several occasions during his 2012 trial, he made a variation of the Nazi salute by holding his closed right fist to his heart and then extending his arm.
 
"Incredibly provocative," reacted Berit Reiss-Andersen, one of the lawyers for the victims' families in his 2012 trial, speaking on television channel TV2.
 
The Nazi salute appears to confirm the belief that he has radicalised in prison, having recently described himself as a "militant nationalist".
 
In a letter to AFP dated October 27, 2014, he said he had pledged his "allegiance to national socialism".
 
'Torture'
Breivik has in the past likened his prison conditions to "torture".
 
Now, the 37-year-old is suing the state for breaching two clauses of the European Convention on Human Rights, one which prohibits "inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment", and one which guarantees the right of respect for "private and family life" and "correspondence".
 
In opening remarks, his lawyer stressed the frequent use of handcuffs and hundreds of strip-searches his client had been subjected to in the Ila prison near Oslo where he was held until September 2013. But his main complaint concerns his isolation.
 
Since his arrest on July 22, 2011, Breivik has been held apart from the rest of the prison population and his contacts with the outside world strictly controlled.
 
Prison officials censor his mail to prevent him from establishing an "extremist network", according to authorities, and his rare visits are almost exclusively with professionals behind a glass partition.
 
 
The only exception in five years was a five-minute meeting in 2013 with his mother during which they hugged, shortly before she died from cancer, Storrvik told the court.
 
Breivik is suffering "clear damage" from his isolation, according to Storrvik, who cited memory loss and an inability to focus on his studies.
Story continues below…
 
'Extremely dangerous man'
"Put simply, Breivik is an extremely dangerous man," countered Marius Emberland, the lawyer from office of the attorney general defending the state.
 
"It's unpleasant and it's supposed to be unpleasant to serve a long sentence," he added, stressing however that the prison conditions were "well within the limits of what is permitted" under the European Convention on Human Rights.
 
Breivik followed the arguments closely, shaking his head several times to show his disagreement.
 
In prison he has access to three cells -- one for living, one for studying and a third for physical exercise -- as well as a television, a computer without Internet access and a game console. He is able to prepare his own food and do his own laundry.
 
The proceedings, which will last until Friday, are being held at the Skien Prison 130 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Oslo.
 
They are being broadcast on Norwegian television, though Breivik's own testimony on Wednesday morning will not be aired out of respect for the victims.

For more news from Norway, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Pierre-Henry Deshayes/AFP/The Local (news.denmark@thelocal.com)

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