Breivik judge caught playing cards during trial

A judge in the trial of confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was caught on camera on Monday morning playing cards on his computer while a witness provided details about the defendant’s anti-Islamic ideology.

As Swedish religious historian Mattias Gardell addressed the Oslo district court, broadcaster NRK’s cameras honed in on lay judge Ernst Henning Eielsen as he played the card game FreeCell on his laptop computer, newspaper VG reports.  

With so many cameras in the courtroom, Eielsen might have expected at least a reprimand for failing to keep his cards closer to his chest. Instead, the court’s first reaction was to lash out at the national broadcaster.

“One of the conditions for broadcasting is that there should be no filming of the judges’ desk. There are notes and documents of a sensitive nature lying there,” said court spokeswoman Irene Ramm.

NRK responded that it was careful never to broadcast any footage that could compromise the court’s activities.

In the video snippet, Eielsen appeared to relax with a game of cards some ten minutes before the court took a break for lunch.

Initial feedback from the court seemed to suggest that his online activity would be treated with patience.

“The judges follow carefully everything that is presented in the courtroom. There are a number of ways to stay focused,” said Irene Ramm.

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