Shoe hurled at Breivik at trial

2012-05-11 13:01

Oslo - A family member of one of the victims of Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik threw a shoe at him in court on Friday, screaming "you killer, go to Hell!"

The shoe attack, which came as a coroner presented more autopsy reports on the mostly-young victims of the July massacre at Utoya Island was followed by applause, "bravos" and tears among onlookers in the courtroom, and led to a temporary suspension of proceedings on the 17th day of the trial.

The black shoe did not hit Breivik but landed on one of his lawyers, Vibeke Hein Baera, who sits between the accused and the onlookers.

"Luckily, it was just a shoe," Hein Baera said after the incident.

The attacker, a man of Iraqi origin whose brother was one of the 69 people Breivik shot dead on Utoya on 22 July, was quickly brought under control by security guards and escorted out of the courtroom as he continued to shout in English: "Go to Hell!"

When the proceedings resumed a few minutes later, Breivik addressed the onlookers.

First serious incident

"If someone wants to throw something at me, do it at me while I'm entering or leaving, and not at my lawyer," he said.

The shoe attack was the first serious incident since the beginning of the 33-year-old right-wing extremist's trial on 16 April.

Breivik has been charged with committing terrorist acts on 22 July when he killed a total of 77 people by first bombing a government building in Oslo before going on a shooting rampage on Utoya, where the ruling Labour Party's youth wing was hosting a summer camp.

He has confessed to the acts but has refused to plead guilty, insisting his massacres were "cruel but necessary" to stop the Labour Party's "multicultural experiment" and the "Muslim invasion" of Norway and Europe.

His mainly young victims were "legitimate targets", he said.

The proceedings have so far been marked by tears and embraces among the survivors and victims' family members gathered in the courtroom, but until Friday none of the onlookers had directly addressed the confessed killer.

Lunatic or not?

While he will surely be found guilty, his 10-week trial will help determine the tricky question of his sanity and whether he will be sent to prison or to a mental institution.

Two court-ordered evaluations have reached opposition conclusions, and it will be up to the five-judge panel to rule on the issue when they hand down their verdict in mid-July.

Breivik himself is intent upon proving his sanity so his anti-Islam ideology will not be written off as the ravings of a lunatic.

Read more on:    anders behring breivik  |  norway  |  norway attacks
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