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article imageAnders Behring Breivik claims self-defense as trial begins

By Layne Weiss     Apr 16, 2012 in Crime
Oslo - Anders Behring Breivik, a self described anti-Islamic militant who confessed to atrocities which killed 77 people in Norway last summer went on trial Monday proclaiming he acted in self defense, The New York Times reports.
Breivik showed no remorse or guilt for his actions, despite family members of his victims and survivors of his rampage sitting and sobbing in the courtroom. According to The New York Times, the Norwegian mass killer actually appeared to stifle a yawn at one point.
Breivik appeared arrogant and almost untouchable as he smiled at all the media and public packed inside the courtroom, The LA Times reports.
After his handcuffs were removed, he flashed what is being described as a "fascist" style salute. According to CBS, he then shook hands with prosecutors and court officials, and then proclaimed, "I don't recognize Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism."
On Monday, recordings of cellphone calls the gunman made to police suggested that perhaps he was ready to surrender, but failure by police to accept his surrender may have led to more killings, The New York Times reports. Prosecutors say that in the time between Breivik's first call to police, and his final shot, 41 people died.
On July 22, 2011, dressed as a police officer, Anders Behring Breivik detonated a car bomb in Oslo killing 8 people. Later, still in uniform, he shot and killed 69 people at a youth camp on Utoya Island near Oslo.
On Monday, Breivik told the courts he admits to the acts which he is accused of, but that he acted in self defense.
According to CBS, Breivik remained mostly "stone-faced" as prosecutors read an indictment of his crimes with vivid descriptions on each victim's death.
Breivik did, however, become emotional when prosecutors showed an anti-Muslim video he had posted on Youtube before his killing spree. His hands trembled as he attempted to wipe away the tears streaming down his face.
Initially, Breivik was deemed insane, but has recently been reassessed and judged as sane. The LA Times reports that his most recent evaluators warned of a "high risk of repetition of violence."
If the court finds Breivik guilty of the crimes and decides that he was sane when he carried out the killings, the presiding judges can sentence him up to 21 year in prison under Norwegian law, The New York Times reports. He can be kept behind bars for longer if he is still deemed to be extremely dangerous. If the courts find Breivik insane, he will be kept in psychiatric care until, if ever, he gets better.
On April 10, a court ordered psychiatric report deemed Breivik sane, but with a narcissistic personality disorder.
After court adjourned for the day, Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad told reporters that his client felt he was at war and believed he should be tried by a military tribunal, BBC reports.
More about norwegian mass killing, Trial, Self defense, Anders Behring Breivik
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