Norway massacre killer in court for custody hearing

OSLO — The gunman behind Norway’s twin attacks in July was to appear behind closed doors on Monday in an Oslo court that was to prolong his custody and determine whether to keep him in solitary confinement.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 19 Sep 2011, 3:20 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:51 AM

Prosecutors are expected to ask the court to prolong for eight weeks the detention of Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to the July 22 attacks that left 77 people dead.

They are also going to ask that four of the weeks be in isolation, a treatment Behring Breivik has described as “sadistic torture” according to his lawyer.

“Prosecutors will ask for eight more weeks, four of them in isolation. The request for continued isolation has to be submitted every four weeks,” Oslo police spokesman Roar Hansen told Norwegian news agency NTB.

An Oslo court had initially ruled that Behring Breivik’s court appearance could be open to the public for the first time, meaning the media, relatives of the victims, survivors and other people concerned would be able to attend.

But an appeals court last week overturned that decision at the police’s request, out of concern that Behring Breivik might try to communicate with any possible accomplices.

The far-right extremist has in the past expressed a desire to speak out in public, his lawyer has said.

The 32-year-old Norwegian has admitted killing 77 people in two attacks on July 22, first setting off a bomb outside government offices and then carrying out a shooting massacre at a Labour youth summer camp on an island near Oslo.

Sixty-nine people, mostly young people, were shot dead in the rampage on Utoeya island, and eight others died in the bombing.

In a manifesto he published on the Internet just before the attacks, Behring Breivik professed his hatred for Western-style democracy, saying it had spawned the multicultural society he loathed.

After having requested in vain to be allowed to wear a “uniform” to his first court appearance in July, the rightwing extremist had asked to dress in a kind of tailcoat, likely the freemason uniform he can be seen posing in on one of the photographs he posted online before the attacks.

His lawyer, Geir Lippestad, had explained that Behring Breivik thus wished to show his respect for the judicial process, pointing out that “the tailcoat is one of the most formal attires worn by men.”

His request was however denied, the judge ruling that “in light of the extreme seriousness of the case, such an attire could be disturbing, insulting and provocative.”

The killer has instead worn a normal suit for his appearances.

Behring Breivik was scheduled to go before the court Monday at 1:00 pm (1100 GMT) and the judge was to announce the ruling shortly thereafter.

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