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Norway Killer Breivik Obstinate Amid Probe of Militant Links

Breivik Obstinate as Prosecution Probes Militant Link
Anders Behring Breivik, charged with killing 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last July, sits in the witness box whilst being questioned by the prosecution at the central court in Oslo. Photographer: Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Anders Behring Breivik, charged with killing 77 people in Norway, rebuffed prosecutors’ attempts to prove his anti-Muslim militant network doesn’t exist and said acquittal or death are the only fair outcomes of the case.

“Your intention is to try and sow doubt about whether the network exists,” the 33-year-old told a court in Oslo today. Norwegians should be afraid of two other one-man cells in the country, because “they can attack Oslo at any time,” he said.

Breivik in July killed 69 people at a Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoeya and detonated a car bomb by the prime minister’s office, taking eight lives. While he confesses to the murders, he’s seeking to prove his sanity to the court in order to further his arguments against multiculturalism.

“I don’t wish to discuss that,” Breivik repeated as the prosecution grilled him on claims he made militant connections online before travelling to Liberia to meet a Serbian for training, and then to London to join a group called the Knights Templar, on behalf of whom he carried out the attacks.

“The police don’t trust my statement,” said Breivik, an Oslo native. “They don’t think that there is a Serb. They don’t think there is a person who was my English contact.”

That’s been “one of the major issues for the police all along,” prosecutor Svein Holden told reporters after the court adjourned for the day. “We don’t believe that this network exists. We don’t think that there are other cells.”

‘Paranoid Schizophrenia’

Breivik, who says his code name was “Sigurd the Crusader” after the Norse king, said the Knights Templar meeting in London was about developing “a long-term plan on how to seize power in Western Europe. Nothing has been invented.”

His actions were necessary to prevent civil war in Europe, Breivik said yesterday. He has been indicted on two terror charges as well as murder and if deemed sane may be sentenced to 21 years in prison with the possibility of five-year extensions for as long as he’s deemed a danger to society.

An initial psychiatric evaluation last year found Breivik to be suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, meaning he would face compulsory treatment rather than prison. The decision was criticized by victims and caused the Oslo court to order a new assessment in January.

A second evaluation found him not to be clinically psychotic and therefore accountable for his actions. Neither evaluation is binding for the court.

‘Pathetic Punishment’

“I consider 21 years of prison as a pathetic punishment,” he told prosecutors today. While Norway doesn’t have the death penalty, acquittal or capital punishment are the only “just and fair” outcomes of this case, Breivik said. Capital punishment would support his political cause because it would “show that Norway has thrown out all of its ideals.”

Jury member Thomas Indreboe was yesterday replaced as a lay judge after he admitted to posting comments on Facebook calling for Breivik’s execution.

“I considered the July 22 action as a suicide action,” Breivik told the court today. “I didn’t think that I would have survived that day.”

At the opening of the 10-week trial on April 16, Breivik refused to admit guilt for the two attacks and declined to accept the authority of the court even as he confessed to the murders, arguing they were in self defense.

Norwegians have been “deceived and betrayed by liberals and multiculturalists” and “communist doctrines” have taken over in many nations, Breivik said. “Violent revolution is the only way to solve this.”

The trial is being broadcast to 17 court houses nationwide to allow about 2,000 aggrieved relatives and friends of the victims to follow the proceedings.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristin Myers in Oslo on at kmyers16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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