Breivik prepares remarks for verdict hearing

Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik has prepared remarks he hopes to read out in court after the verdict is given in his trial for killing 77 people, his lawyer said.

"He wants to be held responsible," lawyer Geir Lippestad told the daily newspaper Aftenposten. "He thought about what he wanted to say to the judges and so has prepared a few lines for every outcome."

Lippestad said he was unsure if Breivik would be able to address the Oslo court on Friday, when five judges will announce whether they consider the 33-year-old legally responsible for his crimes.

The verdict determines whether Breivik will spend a long sentence behind bars or in a closed psychiatric ward.

On July 22nd 2011, Breivik set off a car bomb outside the government offices in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to the island of Utøya, north-west of the capital, where he spent more than an hour gunning down another 69 people, mostly teenagers, attending a Labour Party youth camp.

Breivik has confessed to the killings but his 10-week trial has been one of the most compelling in Norway's history as the court tries to delve into his mindset.

Another of his lawyers, Tord Jordet, told the tabloid Verdens Gang that his client is working on a sort of autobiography in which he would detail his preparations for the attacks and include revelations about the mysterious Knights Templar.

Breivik claims he began his ideological crusade in 2002 as part of the Knights Templar — an organisation whose existence police have never been able to confirm.

The book "will contain more information than what he told the police," Jordet said, adding that the book would be written in English and available next year.

Breivik has presented himself to the court as a writer and wrote a 1,500-page manifesto he published online just before the massacre.

Breivik has said he would not appeal the case if judges find him sane.

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Norwegian police end emergency carrying of arms

The temporary arming of all police in Norway, ordered after an attack in Kongsberg left five dead, ended on Friday morning. 

Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo.
Police in Norway will no longer be armed after the temporary order was dropped. Pictured is a police van in Oslo. Photo by David Hall on Flickr.

The order for all police in Norway to be armed following an attack in Kongsberg last week was lifted on Friday morning. 

The police said in a statement Friday that, based on the information it had received from police security service PST, there was no longer any basis for maintaining the national armament order. 

“Norwegian police are basically unarmed in daily service, with firearms being stored in police vehicles, and police can be armed in connection with specific missions when needed. In that sense, we are now moving to a normal situation,” Tone Vangen, emergency preparedness director for the police, said in a statement

The police had been armed since last Wednesday following the incident in Kongsberg where Danish citizen Espen Andersen Bråthen killed five with an undisclosed sharp object and shot at police with a bow and arrow.

During police questioning, Bråthen confessed to the killings and to wounding three others. 

Police said earlier this week that the victims were chosen at random. The Danish citizen was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, which is necessary to determine whether Bråthen can be held legally responsible for his actions.

The 37-year-old had previously announced publicly that he had converted to Islam and police initially reported that there had been fears of radicalisation. 

But police later said that mental illness was to be considered the primary motive for the attack. 

 “As far as motive is concerned, illness remains the main hypothesis. And as far as conversion to Islam is concerned, this hypothesis is weakened,” police inspector Per Thomas Omholt said to reporters earlier this week.