STAVANGER, Norway ( Associated Press) — Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik goes to court Tuesday after 10 years in prison, claiming he is no longer a threat to society and seeking early release from his 21-year sentence. are doing.
The far-right terrorist has shown no remorse since a bomb and gun massacre killed 77 people in 2011, and the families of victims and survivors fear he will understand his extreme views during the trial, experts say. that they are unlikely to be released soon.
“I can say that I haven’t noticed a major change in Breivik’s functioning,” says Randy Rosenquist, the psychiatrist who has followed Breivik since he was jailed in 2012, since his criminal trial. When he bragged about the scale of his slaughter, or his 2016 human rights case, when he raised a Nazi salute.
“In theory and practice someone seeking parole would have to show remorse, and to show that they understand that such acts cannot be repeated,” she said.
She will give evidence at her trial and submit a psychiatric report, which is usually important if offenders are to demonstrate that they are no longer dangerous.
“That’s not likely to happen,” said research professor Berit Johnson from the University College of the Norwegian Correctional Service. “I think it is quite clear that there is still a high risk that he will commit new crimes if he is released.”
The hearing is to be held for the last three days, but the verdict will not be delivered for several weeks.
It was July 22, 2011, when, after months of careful preparation, Breivik detonated a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people and injuring dozens. He then drove to Utoya Island, where he set fire to the annual summer camp of the youth wing of the Left Labor Party. Before Breivik surrendered to the police, seventy-nine people were killed, most of them teenagers.
In 2012 Breivik was given a maximum sentence of 21 years with a clause – rarely used in the Norwegian justice system – that could keep him indefinitely if he was still considered a threat to society. This clause means that he can seek parole hearing after 10 years. And while that possibility means a life sentence, it also opens up the possibility that Breivik could seek an annual parole hearing where he can air his views, Johnson says.
“According to Norwegian law, he has the right to appear before a judge,” Breivik’s defense attorney, Oystein Storvik, said. “He insists on that right. And his motivation for doing so is hard for me.
Storrvik confirmed that Breivik would call on Swedish neo-Nazi Per Oberg to speak in his defence. He would not otherwise outline the basis for Breivik’s case, but made it clear that no one should expect remorse.
“There is no obligation under the law that you have to repent,” Storvik said. “So it’s not a legal main point. The purely legal problem is whether that’s dangerous.”
Lisbeth Christine Roenland, who leads a family and survivor support group, fears giving Breivik a platform to inspire like-minded thinkers. “I think he’s doing this as a way to get attention. I’m just intimidated by whether he has the opportunity to talk freely and express his extreme views to like-minded people is,” she said.
She pointed to the case of Norwegian shooter Philipp Manshaus, who, inspired by the 2019 New Zealand terror attacks, killed his half-sister and attempted to attack a mosque.
Breivik has the magnificence for trying to advance his extremist goals. During his 2012 trial, he entered the courtroom daily with a clenched fist salute, and told grieving parents that he wished he had killed more. He is in prison trying to start a fascist party and is delivered by mail to right-wing extremists in Europe and the United States. Prison officials confiscated many of those letters, fearing that Breivik would inspire others to commit violent attacks.
In 2016, he sued the government, saying that his isolation from other prisoners, repeated strip searches and the fact that he was frequently handcuffed during the early part of his imprisonment, was a violation of his human rights. . He made a Nazi salute to journalists during a case he initially won, but was overturned by the high courts in 2017.
In addition to providing a pulpit for the killer, the case could also reopen psychological wounds for victims’ families and survivors, says Royland.
“I think personally it’s absurd that he has this possibility. I think he’s ridiculous, but you have to remember that taking care of him so much would be hard for the survivors and the parents and some People can be traumatized again.”
At the time of the attacks, Breivik claimed to be the commander of a secret Christian military order plotting an anti-Muslim revolution in Europe. Investigators found no clue of the group. In 2016 he described himself as a traditional neo-Nazi, saying that his earlier crusader image was just for show.
Breivik has three cells in the high-security branch of the Skne prison. Cells are equipped with video game consoles, a television, a DVD player, electronic typewriters, newspapers and exercise machines. He also has daily access to a large exercise yard. Rosenquist said his condition is “excellent” and that he has been given the opportunity to pass the high school exams and is now studying at the university level.
The court that convicted him in 2012 found him criminally sane, rejecting prosecutors’ view that he was psychotic. Breivik did not appeal against his sentence.