Anders Behring Breivik, in custody for killing 76 people in a Norwegian shooting rampage and bombing, must spend four weeks in pre-trial detention with no contact with the outside world.
Judge Kim Heger said after a 30-minute closed court hearing that Breivik, 32, can receive no visits, nor send or receive letters for the entire eight-week period he will be detained. Breivik told the hearing that he planted the July 22 bomb in Oslo and killed people at a youth camp on Utoeya island as he sought to inflict the “greatest possible loss” to the ruling Labor party that ran the camp, Heger said.
The court and prosecutors are concerned Breivik may hinder the investigation by contacting possible accomplices. He told the hearing there were “two more cells in our organization.” If convicted on the two counts of Acts of Terror he has been charged with, he could receive a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison, Norway’s toughest punishment.
Given the “seriousness, the extent and character of this case, the court considers the arguments for isolation are immense,” Heger said after the hearing.
“Nothing like this has ever happened in Norway, it’s an extraordinary case,” Geir Engebretsen, President of the Oslo District Court, told reporters before the hearing.
Armed with a pistol and semi-automatic rifle, Breivik killed 68 people at a youth camp held by the Labor party on Utoeya island, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Oslo. He killed eight more in a car bomb blast earlier that day in the government district of the capital. Police today revised down an earlier estimate of a total of 93 casualties.
“He said he believed his actions were atrocious, but in his head they were necessary,” Breivik’s defense lawyer Geir Lippestad told Norway’s TV2 on July 23.
In his manifesto, the suspect said that he made an application for a Glock 17 and that he acquired a semi-automatic Ruger Mini 14. He said that he also owned a Benelli Nova Pump-Action and a 308 win bolt rifle. The police have declined to say what make of gun he used for the attacks or how he acquired the weapons.
While Breivik admitted to the dual attacks, he did not plead guilty, Heger said.
“The operation was not intended to kill as many people as possible, but to give ‘a sharp signal’ to the people that can’t be misunderstood,” Heger said, citing Breivik’s comments in court. “As long as the Labor Party follows its ideological line and continues to deconstruct Norwegian culture and import Muslims en masse so they must take responsibility for this treason.”
Breivik appeared calm and composed during the proceedings and told the court he expected to spend the rest of his life in jail, police prosecutor Christian Hatlo said at a separate press conference.
If Breivik were convicted, prosecutors may ask that he be imprisoned longer than 21 years on the grounds that he might repeat a violent crime and that a 21-year sentence wouldn’t be sufficient to prevent that, police spokeswoman Carol Sandbye said yesterday. Were that to happen, Breivik would need to be retried every five years, she said.
Protestors outside the court shouted angrily at vehicles they thought might contain Breivik, and at his lawyer as he entered the courtroom.
“I would have liked to see him get 21 years per person he has killed,” said Alexander Roine, 24.
In a 1,500-page English manifesto posted on the Internet hours before the killings, Breivik described nine years of planning for the attacks and his vision for revolution in Europe led by the Knights Templar. He wrote that the massacre would serve as a tool to market the manifesto.
In the document entitled “2083 -- A European Declaration of Independence,” which Breivik began writing while he was still a member of Norway’s opposition Progress Party, he described how the attacks would form part of a crusade against “cultural Marxism” and the rising “Islamization” of Europe. Large sections of the document have been copied from Theodore Kaczynski’s 1995 manifesto, according to the Norwegian political analysis website Document.no.
Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, is serving a life sentence in federal prison in Colorado for mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23 others in the U.S.
“What the court understands the accused believes that he needed to carry out these acts in order to save Norway and Western Europe from among other things cultural Marxism and Muslim take over,” Heger said.
Breivik also posted a four-part video summarizing his manifesto on YouTube. The chapters are titled “The Rise of Cultural Marxism,” “Islamic Colonization,” “Hope,” and “New Beginning.” 2083 refers to the year a new European identity will emerge. The video, which featured pictures of Breivik in a military uniform and pointing an assault rifle in a wet suit, has since been removed.
Breivik became a member of the anti-immigrant Progress Party, Norway’s second biggest, in 1999 and paid his membership fees until 2004, party spokesman Mazyar Keshvari said in an e-mail July 23. Breivik was also a member of the party’s youth movement from 1997 to 2007, acting as deputy chairman for one of the local Oslo chapters.
Breivik on his Facebook page lists John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty,” George Orwell’s “1984” and Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” among his favorite books. “World of Warcraft” and “Modern Warfare” were his preferred video games. Most of his postings, the last of which was on July 18, relate to music videos.
Breivik mentions German Chancellor Angela Merkel by name in his manifesto, and refers to her Christian Democratic Union party as “cultural Marxists.”
“One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests,” said the single posting on a Twitter account bearing Breivik’s name, made on July 17, paraphrasing Mill, an English philosopher and economist.
U.K. police are assisting Norwegian officials with the probe to see if there is any connection between British and Norwegian extremist groups, a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said today. There was no link between the perpetrator and Germany, the Interior Ministry in Berlin said.
The attacks in the country that hosts the Nobel Peace Prize were the deadliest in Europe since about 350 people were massacred at a school in Beslan, Russia, in 2004. Breivik’s rampage on the island lasted 90 minutes, during which he is alleged to have called on the youth to come to him for police protection, before shooting them point-blank.
About 97 people were injured in the attacks, of whom 67 were from the island shootings, Oslo’s acting police chief Sveinung Sponheim said at a press conference yesterday. Norway’s Crown-Princess Mette-Marit’s step-brother is among the deceased, the Royal Castle confirmed today.