25 Jul 2011

Norwegian killer wants time in court to tell why

11:07 pm on 25 July 2011

The lawyer for the man who has admitted mass murder in Norway says he wants a public hearing when he faces court in Oslo. He also wants to be allowed to wear a uniform.

At least 93 people were killed in the massacre at a youth camp on Utoeya Island and a car bombing in Oslo. Another 96 were wounded and more are still missing.

Lawyer Geir Lippestad told a Norwegian television channel on Sunday that Anders Behring Breivik, 32, wants to publicly explain why he unleashed the carnage. He said he does not know what uniform his client wants to wear.

The accused has admitted carrying out both attacks.

Oslo's acting chief of police, Sveinung Sponheim, says Mr Breivik told them he acted alone.

He has the status of an official suspect before the arraignment, but will not learn the actual charges until the investigation is concluded, with police still hunting for possible accomplices.

Under Norwegian law the judge can order his detention for up to four weeks, after which it must be renewed.

It is also up to the judge whether to hold the hearing behind closed doors.

Police have said a trial could be a year away.

Former PM said to be target

An Oslo newspaper is reporting the gunman told police he intended to target former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Aftenposten cited unnamed sources as saying Mr Breivik planned to go to Utoeya Island while Mr Brundtland was visiting but was delayed.

Mr Brundtland gave a speech on the island but left before Mr Breivik arrived.

Police defend response time

Police in Oslo have responded to criticism it took them too long to reach the massacre scene.

At least 85 people, mostly teenagers, were killed there. An 86th died in hospital on Sunday.

Johan Fredriksen, a senior police officer, told a briefing on Sunday the gap between Oslo being notified and a squad of heavily armed police arriving on the island by boat was close to an hour.

He said Mr Breivik surrendered without resistance two minutes after police arrived.

Mr Fredriksen said there was ''no resistance'', but the suspect ''had used two weapons and he had been, and still was, in possession of a significant amount of ammunition''.

Acting police commissioner Sveinung Sponheim said all the dead have been removed from the island.

Manifesto issued

Anders Breivik published a manifesto shortly before the killings.

The 1500-page document was written in English.

References were made to targeting ''cultural Marxists/ multiculturalist traitors''.

The manifesto attacks what the writer calls the Islamic colonisation and Islamisation of Western Europe and the rise of cultural Marxism.

He said he was part of a crusade to fight a tide of Islam.

Defence lawyer Geir Lippestad says he feels that what he has done does not deserve punishment because he wants a change in society.

Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said on Sunday that police were not looking for anyone else at the moment - though they had not ruled out that the suspect might have had help.

Mr Sponheim said Mr Breivik had ''admitted to the facts of both the bombing and the shooting'', saying his actions were "cruel" but "necessary".

''He says that he was alone but the police must verify everything that he said. Some of the witness statements from the island have made us unsure of whether there was one or more shooters."

The accused is due to appear in court on Monday. Under Norwegian law, the maximum time he could face in prison is 21 years.

Father in shock

The accused's father says he is in a state of shock.

Jens Breivik says he only found out about what his son had done through the internet.