Norway’s PM says deadly attacks changed him

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview published on Sunday that the July killing spree by a right-wing extremist that left 77 people dead had changed him profoundly.

Norway's PM says deadly attacks changed him
Photo: Office of the Prime Minister (File)

"The attack has become part of my identity. I value democratic values today more than before — freedom of speech, the freedom to be able to be an active politician," he told Bild am Sonntag in comments published in German.

He said those values were attacked on July 22nd, when anti-immigration extremist Anders Behring Breivik set off a bomb at Labour government offices in Oslo and then embarked on a shooting massacre at a Labour youth summer camp on an island near the capital.

"Whenever I feel sorry for myself, I recall that my concerns are very small, they are nothing compared to those of the victims," the Labour prime minister said.

He said he had "not the slightest need" to see Behring Breivik to discuss his motives.

"He killed people in my office, people whom I knew well. My wish is to leave it up to the Norwegian justice system," he said.

Prosecutors on Tuesday declared the 32-year-old criminally insane when he carried out the deadly rampage after two psychiatrists who examined him concluded that he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

By removing Behring Breivik's criminal responsibility, the diagnosis will probably see him sentenced to receive psychiatric care in a closed institution — possibly for the rest of his life — instead of prison.

Stoltenberg said he understood it was difficult for some of the victims' relatives to hear that the self-confessed killer might not be brought to account.

"But the best answer to the acts of July 22nd is the use of democratic values. And one of these fundamental values is the principle of the state under the rule of law," he added.

If independent judges declare him of unsound mind, it has to be accepted, he said.

Addressing the party conference of Germany's centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Berlin on Sunday, Stoltenberg expressed thanks for the sympathy shown Norway after the twin attacks.

Referring to events in Norway and Germany, he said extremism was developing in very different forms.

Following the revelation of a neo-Nazi cell in Germany believed to have murdered 10 people, mainly shopkeepers of Turkish origin, the SPD delegates adopted a resolution saying sorry to relatives of the victims.

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Norway mass killer Breivik changes his name

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, his lawyer said on Friday, the day after the country's Supreme Court rejected the neo-Nazi killer's case over "inhumane" prison conditions.

Norway mass killer Breivik changes his name
Photo: HÃ¥kon Mosvold Larsen/Scanpix

“I can confirm that he has changed his name, it's official,” Oystein Storrvik told AFP, confirming reports by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).

Asked why Breivik had decided on the name change, Storrvik said: “I do not want to disclose the content of our discussions.”

In July 2011 Breivik, disguised as a police officer, tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, shortly after killing eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo.

He has never expressed any remorse for committing the worst atrocity in Norway's post-war history. He said he killed his victims because they embraced multiculturalism.

Before proceeding with the attacks, he circulated an ideological “manifesto” signed under the name Andrew Berwick.

A search in the Norwegian business register confirms that Breivik Geofarm, an agricultural firm created by Breivik to obtain fertilisers used to make a bomb, is now registered in the name of Fjotolf Hansen.

While Hansen is a very common surname in Norway, Fjotolf is rarely used, if ever.

The now 38-year-old inmate is serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely.

Breivik has complained about his isolation from other inmates for safety reasons since his arrest in 2011, and sued the Norwegian state over his prison conditions.

His lawyer said on Thursday that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting all legal options in Norway where the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.