France to help Norway question Breivik’s father

French prosecutors agreed on Wednesday to help Norway investigate extremist gunman Anders Behring Breivik's background by interviewing his France-based father.

France to help Norway question Breivik's father
Prosecutor Hjort Kraby (Photo: Scanpix)

"The request for judicial assistance has been sent to France in proper fashion and passed to the Paris prosecutor's office to be carried out," justice ministry spokesman Bruno Badre told AFP.

On July 22nd last year, Behring Breivik set off a bomb outside a government office in Norway then drove to an island in a fjord outside the city and opened fire on teenagers staying at a youth camp.

In all, the twin attacks left 77 people dead, the worst bloodshed in Norway since World War II. Behring Breivik had a history of online political extremism and has boasted that he was at war with Muslim immigration.

Breivik's elderly father, retired diplomat Jens Breivik, lives in France.

"He does not want to come to Norway, nor to go to the Norwegian embassy or consulate where we could interrogate him, and we have therefore asked French authorities to help," Norwegian prosecutor Pål-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said.

"The father has not seen the suspect for years," he told AFP on Tuesday, explaining that he wanted Norwegian investigators to sit in as French police question Jens Breivik before the trial, which is due to start in April.

"He has not lived with him since he was one year old, and he is therefore peripheral but still important for understanding his personality."

Last week, Norwegian authorities ordered that Behring Breivik, 33, undergo psychiatric evaluation to judge whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

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Norway mosque shooter ‘has admitted the facts’: Police

A Norwegian man suspected of killing his step sister and opening fire in a mosque near Oslo last weekend, has admitted to the crimes though he has not officially entered a plea, police said on Friday.

Norway mosque shooter 'has admitted the facts': Police
Philip Manshaus appears in court on August 12. Photo: Cornelius Poppe / NTB Scanpix / AFP
Philip Manshaus, 21, was remanded in custody Monday, suspected of murder and a “terrorist act” that police say he filmed himself committing.
Answering police questions on Friday, “the suspect admits the facts but has not taken a formal position as to the charges,” Oslo police official Pal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby said in a statement.
Manshaus is suspected of murdering his 17-year-old step sister Johanne Zhangjia Ihle-Hansen, before entering the Al-Noor mosque in an affluent Oslo suburb and opening fire before he was overpowered by a 65-year-old man.
Just three worshippers were in the mosque at the time, and there were no serious injuries.
Manshaus appeared in court this week with two black eyes and scrapes and bruises to his face, neck and hands.
Police have said he has “extreme right views” and “xenophobic positions” and that he had filmed the mosque attack with a camera mounted on a helmet. He had initially denied the accusations.
The incident came amid a rise in white supremacy attacks around the world, including the recent El Paso massacre in the United States.
Norway witnessed one of the worst-ever attacks by a rightwing extremist in July 2011, when Anders Behring Breivik, who said he feared a “Muslim invasion”, killed 77 people in a truck bomb blast near government offices in Oslo and a shooting spree at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utøya.