Anders Breivik appears in court

 

The Norwegian right-wing extremist who carried out a shooting rampage that killed 77 people in July has arrived at his first open court hearing.

Dozens of reporters and members of the public were packed inside the court room in Oslo as Anders Breivik walked in wearing a dark suit. Reporters were banned from reporting on the proceedings and no photography or video recordings were allowed.

Breivik is facing terror charges for the July 22 bomb attacks at the government district in Oslo and the shootings on an island youth camp outside the capital.

Previous court hearings in the case have been closed to the public.

Breivik tried to give a speech describing himself as a resistance leader but was cut off by the judge.

The court was packed with survivors of his shooting at the youth camp outside the capital who were seeing him in person for the first time since the attack.

Breivik began portraying himself as the "commander" of a Norwegian resistance movement before the judge interrupted him and told him to stick to the issue at hand. The hearing was to decide whether to extend Breivik's custody pending his trial on terror charges.

The court extended his custody for 12 more weeks until February 6 but decided to gradually lift the restrictions on his media access, visitors and mail. Breivik is being held pending his trial on terror charges. 

Breivik set off a fertiliser bomb outside the government headquarters on July 22, killing eight people, before heading to the island retreat, where youth sections of Norway's governing Labour Party were gathered for their annual summer camp.

Disguised as a police officer, he opened fire on scores of panicked youth, shooting some of them as they fled into the lake. Sixty-nine people were killed on Utoya island before Breivik surrendered to police.

Breivik confessed to the attacks but pleaded not guilty to terror charges, claiming he is in a state of war to protect Europe from being taken over by Muslim immigrants.

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