Italian lawmaker apologises for backing Breivik ideology (Lead)

July 28th, 2011 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Rome, July 28 (IANS/RIA Novosti) An Italian member of the European parliament apologised Thursday to Norway for his support for some of the ideas expressed by twin terror attacker Anders Behring Breivik.

Mario Borghezio, of the anti-immigration Northern League party, condemned last Friday’s attacks, but supported Breivik’s opposition to Muslim immigration to Europe in an interview with an Italian radio earlier in the day.

“I apologise to the victims and the Norwegian people,” said Borghezio, an ally of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He also said he would make a statement in the European parliament.

Breivik has admitted to carrying out a bombing in Oslo that killed eight people, and a mass shooting at a Labor Party youth camp on the nearby island of Utoya, which left 68 dead.

According to police and court officials, Breivik, 32, said the attacks were “atrocious but necessary” measures intended to “save Norway and western Europe” from a “Muslim takeover”.

Borghezio’s earlier comments sparked strong criticism both from the Italian opposition, which has called for his resignation, and fellow European parliamentarians.

Borghezio is not the first right-wing politician to defend some of Breivik’s views. A member of France’s far-right National Front party has been suspended after posting a comment on his blog in which he described the Norwegian attacker as “the main defender of the West”.

Norwegian prosecutor Christian Hatlo said Tuesday that if charged with crimes against humanity, Breivik could face up to 30 years in prison.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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