The mass murderer entered the appeal trial sporting a beard and giving a Nazi salute. Photo: Lisa Åserud / NTB scanpix
Convicted mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has been strengthened in his right-wing ideology since being sentenced to prison five and a half years ago, Attorney General Fredrik Sejersted said on Tuesday as the state's appeal against a ruling on the domestic terrorist’s “inhumane” treatment got underway.
The 37-year-old Breivik entered the appeal case at a makeshift courtroom in Skien prison sporting a beard. As he did at the Oslo District Court hearing on his prison conditions last April, the extremist also made a Nazi salute.
The extended arm gesture earned Breivik a reprimand from Judge Øystein Hermansen, who described it as "offensive to the dignity of the court" and "disturbing." The extremist agreed not to repeat the salute.
“Before July 22 , Anders Behring Breivik was Norway's most dangerous man. It is difficult to know how dangerous he is today, and even more difficult to know how dangerous he will be tomorrow, next year or in ten years,” Sejersted said in introducing the court’s case.
“But he has strengthened his right-wing beliefs. He is still a far-right extremist,” he added.
The Borgarting Court of Appeal’s hearing of the state’s appeal got underway on Tuesday afternoon with Sejersted emphasizing Breivik's ability and willingness to act on this violent ideology.
On July 22nd, 2011, Breivik carried out two attacks, first killing eight people by detonating a bomb at the foot of a government building in Oslo.
Then, disguised as a policeman, he killed 69 others by opening fire at a Labour Party youth camp on the Utøya island with the teenagers trapped by the freezing waters of the surrounding lake.
The attacks were the worst committed on Norwegian soil since World War II.
The 37-year-old sued the state of Norway for prison conditions that he says violate his human rights. In April 2016, the Oslo District Court sided with the convicted terrorist's claims that being held in solitary confinement in the Skien prison violates his rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
However, the court ruled against the extremist on his claim that the strict controls on his correspondence also amounted to a violation of Article 8, which guarantees the right to a private life.
The Court of Appeals will reconsider both rulings.
Breivik, a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who said he killed his victims because they valued multiculturalism, was sentenced in August 2012 to 21 years in prison, a term that can be extended if he is still considered a threat.
His prison conditions would be considered comfortable by most. The extremist is imprisoned in a 30 square-metre three-cell complex where he's allowed to play video games and watch television on two sets. The 37-year-old also has a computer without internet access, gym machines, books and newspapers.