Breivik to court: What about my trauma?

Anders Behring Breivik, on trial for killing 77 people in Norway last year, stunned the Oslo courtroom Wednesday when he drew a parallel between his own "trauma" and that he inflicted on the victims' families.

Breivik to court: What about my trauma?
Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix (File)

After hearing two psychologists describe the devastating effects the July 22nd twin attacks have had on survivors and families of the victims, Breivik said it was "a shame they didn't talk about the trauma of seeing your ethnic culture and religion being taken away and not being able to do anything about it".

"It's traumatizing to see your sisters raped by Muslims and your brothers beaten up," he said after he was given permission to address the court.

"This matter concerns the future of Norway and Europe. It's traumatizing to be labelled a right-wing extremist" and to be "demonized", he said, ignoring the objections of chief judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen.

Breivik's comments prompted murmurs in the courtroom, where families of the victims were seated, some of whom chose to leave.

Earlier Wednesday, after several days of testimony focusing on psychiatric questions, two witnesses described to the court the pain they still feel 11 months after losing loved ones in Breivik's bombing of government offices in Oslo and his shooting rampage on Utøya island.

"It's like each of us has been broken and the family has also been torn apart," said Kirsten Vesterhus who lost her 21-year-old son Haavard on Utøya.

Fighting back tears, Tor Østbø, whose wife Tove Knusten was killed in the Oslo bombing, said meanwhile he could not help wishing the "killer would burn slowly in hell".

Breivik sat emotionless throughout their testimony, as he has throughout the trial, as sobbing was heard in the courtroom.

The trial has largely focused on determining whether or not he is criminally sane, as psychiatric evaluations of the 33-year-old right-wing extremist have sharply contradicted each other.

Breivik himself wants to be found sane — even though he would face a long prison sentence — in order to ensure that his Islamophobic ideology is not written off as the ravings of a lunatic.

If he is found insane he will be sent to a psychiatric ward.

Prosecutors are to present their closing arguments on Thursday, to be followed by those of the defence on Friday.

The verdict is expected on either July 20th or August 24th.

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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.