Defence rebuts insanity claim in Breivik trial
On the last day of his trial, Anders Behring Breivik's defence lawyers today tried to cast the confessed mass killer as a political militant motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology rather than a delusional madman who killed 77 people for the sake of killing.world Updated: Jun 22, 2012 19:33 IST
On the last day of his trial, Anders Behring Breivik's defence lawyers on Friday tried to cast the confessed mass killer as a political militant motivated by an extreme right-wing ideology rather than a delusional madman who killed 77 people for the sake of killing.
Since Breivik has admitted to the bomb-and-gun attacks on July 22, the self-styled anti-Muslim militant's mental state has been the key focus of the 10-week trial.
Nevertheless, Breivik's defence lawyer Geir Lippestad requested that the 32-year-old Norwegian be acquitted or given the mildest possible prison term for the country's worst peacetime massacre.
The plea for acquittal was made out of principle, without any realistic chance of success: Breivik claims he acted in defence of his nation and that the killings were therefore justified.
Also today, relatives of some of those killed tried to put their loss in words. Kirsti Loevlie, whose 30-year-old daughter Hanne was killed by the bomb, moved the court room to tears when she described the shock of finding out her daughter was dead.
The grief of cleaning out her room. The first Christmas without her.
Still, Loevlie said she felt a need to attend the trial, seeing Breivik in a position where he couldn't hurt anyone anymore.
"I am not going to be afraid of this man," Loevlie said. "I decided I would go to court. I felt I owed it to Hanne." The court room burst out in applause and audible sobs as she finished her statement.
Breivik remained motionless, his face blank.
In his closing arguments, Lippestad reiterated that Breivik accepts that he set off a bomb outside a government high-rise and then gunned down dozens of teenagers at a Labor Party youth camp in the way that the attacks were described in court.
"That little, safe Norway would be hit by such a terror attack is almost impossible to understand," Lippestad said. And that helps explain why psychiatric experts reached different conclusions about Breivik's mental state, he added.