Trial of Breivik ends with mass killer's final plea: I am sane

Relatives of victims walk out of court as defendant says he was motivated by a desire to stop a Muslim invasion of Europe

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik ended yesterday after a dramatic walkout by victims' relatives as the Norwegian mass killer pleaded with judges to consider him sane and told them he had carried out the killings of 77 people in an attempt to stop a Muslim invasion of Europe.

More than 30 relatives and friends of those killed in last July's devastating Oslo bomb attack and shooting massacre on the fjord island of Utoya got up and filed out of the court as Breivik began summing up his motives for committing Norway's worst acts of violence since the Second World War.

Members of victim support groups made it clear their gesture was meant as a protest against Breivik and not the court. "He has a right to talk but we have no duty to listen to him," said Christin Bjelland. Norwegian television broadcast sections of the closing stages of the 10-week trial which began in Oslo in April. However, cameras were withdrawn when Breivik made his final statement to the judges in which he attempted to justify his acts of mass murder.

Presenting the defence case, Breivik's lawyer, Geir Lippestad, depicted his client as a cool-headed, right-wing political extremist. He asked the judges to consider him sane and fully accountable for his actions. He insisted that nothing in Breivik's life until the "inferno of violence" on 22 July last year indicated that he was a violent person.

"The mother of these actions is not violence," Mr Lippestad told the court. "It is an extreme, radical political attitude and his actions must be perceived from the standpoint of right-wing extremist culture." The defence arguments followed submissions by the prosecution on Thursday which called for Breivik to be taken into psychiatric care because there were doubts about his sanity. Psychiatrists are divided over Breivik's mental state. One doctor's report has concluded that he is a psychotic paranoid schizophrenic. Another maintains that he is sane.

Mr Lippestad said that the fact "safe little Norway would be hit by such a terror attack is almost impossible to understand". He argued that the inconceivable nature of the offence explained why psychiatric experts had reached different conclusions about his client. Describing Breivik as an ordinary young man with good friends and colleagues, Mr Lippestad asked: "How would a man who was mentally ill have been allowed to join a shooting club?"

Breivik, 33, said at the beginning of his trial that to be deemed insane and committed to psychiatric care would be "worse than death". The anti-Muslim extremist made it clear that he favoured jail as it would allow him to portray himself as a political prisoner and a champion of the far right.

Many Norwegians are uncomfortable with the possibility of an insanity verdict, as it would absolve Breivik of criminal responsibility. The mass killer has claimed he is a founding member of a crusading far-right Muslim order called the Knights Templar whose mission is to prevent an impending Muslim domination of Europe. Prosecution lawyers said they did not believe the organisation existed.

Breivik has claimed that his political convictions drove him to detonate a bomb in central Oslo last July and then shoot and kill 69 youth members of Norway's ruling Labour Party attending a summer camp on Utoya island.

The judges will deliver their ruling on 24 August. Whatever their decision Breivik is likely to be detained for the rest of his life.

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?