Norway mass killer faces last hearing before trial

AP and AFP, Monday 6 Feb 2012

Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who confessed killing 77 people in a terrorist attack last July, asks court to 'immediately' release him

Norwegian confessed killer Anders Behring Breivik arrives handcuffed at a hearing at a courthouse Oslo, Monday, (Photo: Reuters).

The right-wing extremist who confessed to a bombing and mass shooting that killed 77 people went before a Norwegian court Monday in the last scheduled detention hearing before his trial.

Unlike the only previous public hearing, Anders Behring Breivik this time agreed to let himself be photographed before the proceedings began.

A live broadcast by Norway's NRK TV showed the 32-year-old Norwegian — dark suited, hands in cuffs and smirking — being led into the court room. As he sat, Breivik pulled a piece of paper from his right jacket pocket, apparently with notes he had prepared for the hearing.

About 100 survivors and relatives of the victims of the July 22 massacre attended the hearing in Oslo's district court — expected to decide to keep Breivik in jail until his trial begins in April.

Breivik has admitted he carried out the bombing outside the government headquarters in Oslo and the shooting massacre at a Labor Party youth camp on Utoya island, outside the capital.

But he denies criminal guilt, saying he's a commander of a militant organization aiming to overthrow European governments and replace them with "patriotic" regimes that would deport Muslim immigrants.

Police have not found any trace of his supposed network of "Knights Templar" and say Breivik carried out the attacks on his own.

Breivik asked the court to release him immediately, saying his massacre was a "preventive attack against state traitors."

"I do not accept imprisonment. I demand to be immediately released," he said.

Hollow laughter erupted in the rows when Breivik twice demanded his immediate release.

The July 22 massacre was "a preventive attack against state traitors" committed to "defend the ethnic Norwegian population," he told the court.

A psychiatric evaluation has found him criminally insane. He has refused to cooperate with psychiatrists working on a second, court-ordered evaluation of his mental health.

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