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Norway killer to appear in court

Norway's bomber Anders Behring Breivik appears in an Oslo court, a month after he detonated a bomb and went on a shooting rampage

AFP , Friday 19 Aug 2011
Norway's killer Anders Behring Breivik (Photo:Reuters)
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An Oslo court held a hearing on Friday to decide whether the confessed killer of 77 people in Norway should be kept in isolation, a month after he detonated a bomb and went on a shooting rampage.

Anders Behring Breivik showed up at closed hearing under heavy police protection. His earlier request to wear a black tuxedo to the session had been rejected by the Oslo District Court, which described it as "unnecessarily disturbing and provocative."

Breivik has admitted killing eight people when he exploded a truck bomb outside government offices in Oslo, then fatally shooting 69 people at a youth camp on Utoya island nearby.

The 32-year-old right-wing extremist denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe. He said the attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.

If found guilty on terrorism charges, Breivik could be sentenced to 21 years in prison. An alternative custody arrangement — if he is still considered a danger to the public — could keep him behind bars indefinitely.

Survivors, relatives and close friends of the victims were to visit Utoya later Friday and on Saturday to grieve at the island massacre site. Some 1,500 people were expected on the island.

On Sunday, a national memorial service was to be held at Oslo Spektrum arena, marking the end of a month of mourning in the Scandinavian country.

Breivik arrived at the court house in a black car under heavy escort.

His lawyer Geir Lippestad told reporters that Breivik would ask the court to lift his isolation.

"He wants to describe how he experiences his situation in isolation," Lippestad told Norwegian broadcaster NRK as he arrived at the court house.

In the first court hearing on July 25, officials decided he could be detained for eight weeks, including four weeks in isolation, meaning he had no access to television, newspapers and the Internet.

At Friday's hearing the court was to decide on a police request for another four weeks of isolation for the confessed killer.

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