Mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway on the 22nd of July last year, pleaded not guilty in court today. But he admits to the killings.
Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen opened the proceedings in Oslo Courthouse at 09 A.M. this morning. Shortly after, Breivik, who presented himself as a writer, told the judges that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the court.
– I do not recognize the Norwegian court, because it has been given its authority from political parties that support multiculturalism, Breivik said in a statement.
Extreme right wing gesture
He also raised his right arm in some sort of salute after the handcuffs he wore on arrival, were taken off. The salute is described as some sort of extreme right wing gesture.
Chief prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh then started reading the indictment, including the names of all the victims and details of how they were killed. During the live transmission from the court, NRK muted the sound while details of the murders were read.
After the indictment was read, Breivik was asked if he pleads guilty as charged. He answered that he admits to the killings, but does not admit criminal guilt. He said that his actions were based on the principle of necessity or self defence.
Anders Behring Breivik admits to the killing of 77 human beings on Utøya and in the govermental complex in Oslo.
Drying off their tears
During the reading of the indictment some of the audience in the courtroom were visibly affected. One could hear quiet crying, tears were dried off and people embraced each other. The reading of the indictment lasted for one hour and ten minutes.
The mass murderer himself seemed concentrated and calm, but he would some times smile during the reading.
How he planned the attacks
After a 20 minutes break, prosecutor Svein Holden held his initial lecture. He informed the court about how the prosecutors believe Breivik got hold of weapons and bomb parts.
He went through how Breivik had planned his attacks, and how he made the bomb used near the govermental buildings, and his movements on the 22th. July.
He also talked about how Anders Behring Breivik was placing money from selling fake diplomas overseas to avoid taxation. He made good money from this business.
Holden also mentioned that Breivik played the Internet game «World of Warcraft» full time for one year. Breivik has previously told police that this was his martyrdom gift to himself.
He played full time from the summer of 2006 until the summer of 2007. He also played the game later, but it is not clear how much time he spent on this.
Breivik in tears
Holden also showed a video made by Anders Behring Breivik about the so called Knights Templar, the right wing organisation he says he belongs to. This video contains of his so called manifesto.
During the showing of this video, one could see tears in Anders Behring Breivik's eyes.
This is is the first time he has shown these kind of emotions in the court room.
Reporters at NRK say that it seemed like he was deeply touched by his own film, though he appeared totally untouched when the prosecutor read out details of the murders.
NRK has decided not to broadcast his video because it is regarded as a propaganda film for his political views.
As part of his lecture, Svein Holden also showed in the court room a previously unreleased surveillance footage of Breivik's July bombing of government buildings.
The video shows how people walk towards his parked van as it explodes.
Breivik showed no sign of emotion at the detailed footage. However, some survivors, family members of the dead and journalists in the room let out a collective gasp as the footage showed the bomb going off.
The bomb in Oslo killed eight people. On the tiny island of Utøya outside Oslo, an island belonging to the youth organisation of the ruling Labour Party, Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed 69 boys and girls, some of them not older than 14.
He killed eight people when he set off a bomb in a van parked at the foot of the government building in Oslo housing the offices of Labour prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, who was not present at the time.
He then travelled to Utøya, where, dressed as a police officer, he spent more than an hour methodically shooting at hundreds of people attending the Labour Party youth summer camp.
Insane or criminal?
The real question of the trial will be whether Breivik will be declared insane or criminal. While he risks staying behind bars for the rest of his life, the high school dropout has said being labelled insane would be a «fate worse than death».
The trial is scheduled to last 10 weeks and has raised fears that it could reopen wounds in Norway, a country that prides itself on its tolerant and peaceful society.
The «lone wolf» killer intends to say he was defending Norway against multiculturalism and Islam. He says the attacks were intended as punishment of «traitors»whose pro-immigration policies were adulterating Norwegian blood.
He faces either 21 years in prison, a sentence that could thereafter be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society, or closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.