OSLO, Norway (AP) — The anti-Muslim fanatic who admitted to killing 77 people in a bomb-and-shooting massacre is set to take the stand Tuesday in his terror trial.
Anders Behring Breivik will have five days to explain why he set off a bomb in Oslo’s government district, killing eight, and then gunned down 69 at a Labor Party youth camp outside the Norwegian capital.
Survivors of the July massacre worry that he will use his testimony as a platform to promote his extremist views. The key issue for the court to decide is whether the 33-year-old Norwegian is psychotic.
As the trial started Monday, Breivik claimed he acted in “self-defense” to protect Norway from Muslims by attacking the left-leaning political party he blamed for the country’s liberal immigration policies.
Breivik rejected the authority of the court, calling it a vehicle of the “multiculturalist” political parties in power in Norway. He confessed to the “acts” but pleaded not guilty, saying he was acting in self-defense.
Event his defense lawyers conceded that such a defense was unlikely to succeed, and said the main thing for them was to convince the court that Breivik is not insane.
One psychiatric examination found him legally insane while another reached the opposite conclusion. It is up to the five-judge panel to decide whether to send him to prison or compulsory psychiatric care.
Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society.
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