Breivik goes on trial for killing 77 peopleAgence France-Presse . Oslo
Right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik made a defiant farright salute to an Oslo courtroom Monday as his trial opened for the killing of 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last July.
Dressed in a suit and wearing a gold-coloured tie, Breivik made the clenched fist salute after he entered the courtroom and his handcuffs were taken off, touching his chest and extending his right arm in front of him.
In the 1,500-page manifesto Breivik posted online shortly before the July 22 attacks, he described the gesture as ‘the clenched fist salute’ of the Knights Templar organisation.
Lead judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen opened the proceedings, which are expected to last 10 weeks and focus primarily on whether or not Breivik is sane and can thus be sent to prison rather than a psychiatric ward.
Shortly thereafter, Breivik, who presented himself to the court as a ‘writer’, told the judges he did not recognise their legitimacy.
‘I do not recognise the Norwegian court,’ he said in a brief statement.
On July 22, Breivik, now 33, killed eight people when he set off a bomb in a van parked at the foot of government buildings in Oslo housing the offices of Labour prime minister Jens Stoltenberg, who was not present at the time.
He then travelled to Utoeya island outside Oslo where, dressed as a police officer, he spent more than an hour methodically shooting at hundreds of people attending a Labour Party youth summer camp.
The shooting spree left 69 people dead, most of them teenagers trapped on the small heart-shaped island surrounded by icy waters, and is the deadliest massacre ever committed by a sole gunman.
A number of the victims’ bodies were found on the ‘Love Path’ that encircles the island, Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh told the court.
As prosecutors read out the names of those killed and injured, Breivik listened intently with his eyes lowered, appearing to read from a page before him.
Four court-appointed psychiatrists sitting in the courtroom — who have come to two contradictory conclusions about whether he is sane — shot glances at Breivik to observe his reactions.
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