Walkout at Breivik trial

2012-06-22 17:32

Oslo - Survivors and relatives of the 77 people Anders Behring Breivik killed in Norway last July walked out of the courtroom on Friday as he began making final remarks on the last day of his trial.

More than 30 people stood up and walked out of courtroom 250 at the Oslo district court when lead judge Wenche Arntzen said it was time for Breivik to speak.

"He has a right to talk. We have no duty to listen," Christian Bjelland, the vice chair of the support group for survivors of the July 22 attacks and victims' families, told the NTB news agency.

Breivik has asked the court to give him an hour to make final comments, in addition to the several days at the beginning of the 10-week trial dedicated to his testimony.

"Listening to him makes us sick, so many of us intend, when he is given a chance to talk, to calmly and quietly walk out," Bjelland said before the protest action.

Earlier on the last trial day, 11 months to the day after Breivik's attacks, his main lawyer Geir Lippestad rejected a prosecution call for him to be shut in a psychiatric ward, insisting the confessed killer was sane and should be sent to prison or set free.

Shortly before Breivik took the stand, the Oslo district court had also heard heart-wrenching testimony from five people who lost a loved one in the July 22 attacks.

That day, Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to Utoeya island, northwest of the capital where he shot and killed another 69 people, mostly teenagers.

The victims, the youngest of whom had just celebrated her 14th birthday, had been attending a summer camp hosted by the governing Labour Party's youth organisation.

"To inherit your child's cups and plates, is just crazy," Kirsti Sofie Loevlie said, recalling how painful it had been to go through her 30-year-old daughter Hanne's apartment after she was killed in the Oslo bombing.

"This is my trial. I am sure the court will give a correct verdict ... He will never get out again. I will not spend much time and effort on this man," she said, prompting loud applause from the courtroom.

The trial ended on Friday, exactly 11 months after the massacre, with the court setting the verdict date for August 24.

  • kafantaris2 - 2012-06-23 00:38

    It as a lasting testament to our civility that the parents of the scores of teenage children Anders Breivik methodically killed have not ripped his heart out with their bare hands. But to continue to give this coward, this pathetic loser, this depraved monster, a forum for his obsessive ramblings adds insult to injury. Those detached enough to consider that perhaps Breivik might have something to say should reflect that in the free market place of ideas his divisive thinking won very little support. To have to listen to his fixated ideas over and over not only perverts justice, but also beats the drums for vengeance. The sanctity of human life does not permit us to consider even the possibility that there might be some validity in what Breivik is saying. He should find no audience with any of us. His killings have shaken us all to the core. And though infamy and oblivion might be the worse a civilized society would deal him, may he never find peace on earth as long as he shall live.

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