Norway mass killer says acted in defence of nation

April 16th, 2012 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Oslo, April 16 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Norwegian killer Anders Breivik, who went on trial Monday over a deadly massacre last year that claimed 77 lives, pleaded not guilty and instead said he was acting in defence of his country.

“I admit to the acts, but not criminal guilt,” he said at the hearing in Oslo.

The 33-year-old Breivik also rejected the authority of the court as he came to testify on the July 22 attacks.

“I don’t recognise Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism,” Breivik said, after he was given the right for comments to the court.

Breivik is charged with murdering eight people in a car bombing in Oslo July 22, 2011, and then gunning down 69 others, mostly teenagers, at a summer camp on Utoya island.

He claims the attacks were needed to protect Norway from being overrun by Muslims.

The killer remained emotionless during Monday’s trial as the prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh read the list of victims, describing the details of each person’s death.

The self-confessed gunman faces a maximum 21-year sentence, though the jail term can be extended for as long as an inmate is considered a menace to society.

The trial took place amid tightened security with some 100 police officers deployed to the court.

Breivik, who has received life threats since he was arrested, sat behind a bullet-proof screen at the hearing. Relatives of his victims were allowed to watch the trial in a specially built 200-seat courtroom.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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