Judge: Norway terror suspect is not insane


Photo courtesy of CNN

This photo comes from the end of a document written in English and titled, “A European Declaration of Independence.” While the title page shows the document’s author as Andrew Berwick, the writer later identifies himself as Anders Behring Breivik. As of Sunday, July 24, 2011, news media in Norway reported that Breivik is in police custody. While police had not yet officially named the suspect they are holding, they had announced that the man they are holding admitted to the slayings. The document from which these photos are taken is a rambling, 1,500-page manifesto which vows that a “European civil war” will lead to the execution of “cultural Marxists” and the banishing of Muslims.

CNN Wire Service

There is no reason to believe that Norway mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik is insane, District Court Judge Torkjel Nesheim said Monday.

There is also no evidence he had accomplices in the bomb and gun rampage in which he is accused of killing 77 people this summer, the judge said.

The judge ordered him held in custody for a further 12 weeks, with visits and correspondence controlled by the authorities for the first eight, and a ban on media for the first four.

More than 500 people packed into a court in Oslo, Norway, to see the suspect’s first public appearance, said Irene Ramm, head of press for the Oslo court.

A woman whose daughter was killed in the massacre said she could not understand “how a human being could do something like that.”

“That’s why I had to be here today. I don’t understand, so I had to see, had to be here,” said the woman, who was identified only as “Carina” on Norway’s TV2. “He looked cold, completely cold,” she said.

He was not allowed to deliver a speech he had prepared, the station reported.

Breivik said he did not recognize the authority of the court on the grounds that he opposes the multi-cultural society it is part of, TV2 said.

He was stopped on several occasions when he started referring to himself as Commander of the Knights Templar, a title he used in his 1,500-page manifesto, the station reported.

“I interrupted Breivik during today’s hearing because I only wanted to hear him about matters relating to today’s hearing,” Judge Nesheim said. “This was not the main trial where he gets to explain himself. I did not want to give him the opportunity to use this hearing as a platform for him to express his views.”

Until now, the proceedings for Breivik have been held behind closed doors.

The hearing was to determine whether to keep Breivik in jail until his trial in the spring. Prosecutors expect it to begin in March or April, the judge said.

He is accused of killing dozens of people in a bomb attack in Oslo followed by a shooting rampage on nearby Utoya island. Eight people were killed in a bombing in Oslo; 69 young people were killed on Utoya island, in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II.

The young people were attending a Labour Party youth camp. Most of the 700 campers ranged in age from 16-22, with some as young as 13.

Breivik has pleaded not guilty but admits carrying out the attacks, the judge said.

“The accused is still suspected on probable cause of criminal acts, as described in the charges. He has admitted the bombing in central Oslo and also the shooting on Utoya. The investigation has also confirmed this,” Nesheim said.

He is described by authorities as a right-wing Christian extremist. The 1,500-page manifesto attributed to Breivik was posted on the Internet and is critical of Muslim immigration and European liberalism.