Norway mass killer seeks parole 10 years after attacks

Jan 17, 2022, 11:28 AM | Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 10:22 am
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, center, is escorted by police as he walks inside a ma...

Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, center, is escorted by police as he walks inside a makeshift courtroom on the first day of a hearing where he is seeking parole, in Skien, Norway, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Breivik, the far-right fanatic who killed 77 people in massacres in Norway in 2011, appeared at a parole hearing Tuesday, seemingly more focused on spreading white supremacist propaganda than gaining an improbable early release from prison. (Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB scanpix via AP)

(Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB scanpix via AP)

SKIEN, Norway (AP) — Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian far-right fanatic who killed 77 people in bomb-and-gun massacres in 2011, argued Tuesday for an early release from prison, telling a parole judge he had renounced violence even as he professed white supremacist views and flashed Nazi salutes.

Breivik, 42, is serving Norway’s maximum 21-year sentence for setting off a bomb in Oslo’s government district and carrying out a shooting massacre at a summer camp for left-wing youth activists. Under Norwegian law, he is eligible for his first parole hearing after 10 years in prison.

Though experts agree Breivik is highly unlikely to be released, authorities have insisted he has the same rights as any other prisoner, arguing that treating him differently would undermine the principles that underpin Norwegian society, including the rule of law and freedom of speech.

At the three-day hearing, which is taking place in the high-security prison in Skien, south of Oslo, where he is being held in isolation with three cells at his disposal, Breivik made full use of his rights.

Sporting a stubble beard and a two-piece suit, he entered the makeshift courtroom in a prison gymnasium by raising his right hand in a Nazi salute and holding up homemade signs with white supremacist messages. One sign was pinned to his suit.

Asked by the prosecutor who the messages were aimed at, he said they were directed at millions of people “who support white power.”

The Associated Press resists being used as a conduit for speech or images that espouse hate or spread propaganda and is not publishing images showing Breivik’s Nazi salutes and other white supremacist propaganda.

Breivik has used previous court hearings to disseminate conspiracy theories of an ongoing genocide against white people in the West. Some worry he could inspire like-minded people to carry out similar attacks. But since his criminal trial in 2012, many Norwegians have insisted that the best way to defy his world view is to stand up for a tolerant, open society and show that the system he claims is oppressing him in fact is giving him every chance to have his day in court.

Kristin Bergtora Sandvik, a law professor at Oslo University, said Breivik was pushing the boundaries in Tuesday’s hearing.

“At the same time, it’s fairly clear that the prosecutor has a very clear strategy here,” she said. “By letting him speak … he gets his very incoherent message out in the open.”

In a rambling monologue to the court, Breivik argued there is a distinction between militant and nonmilitant white nationalists and said he had been brainwashed by the former when he carried out his attacks in Oslo and at the summer retreat on Utoya island.

“Today, I strongly dissociate myself from violence and terror,” he said. “I hereby give you my word of honor that this is behind me forever.”

Reminding the court of the scale of the attacks, prosecutor Hulda Karlsdottir read the names of each of Breivik’s victims, many of them teenagers on the annual retreat. Many were shot multiple times and some drowned as they tried to swim from the island in panic. During the criminal trial, Breivik said he considered the victims traitors for embracing multiculturalism and that he regretted not having killed even more.

Karlsdottir stressed the parole hearing was not about re-examining guilt, saying, “The main topic here is the danger associated with release.”

Breivik didn’t express any remorse, saying only that he cries for victims on “both sides” in what he described as a culture war.

The court is set to sit until Thursday and a ruling is expected later this month.

During a break in the proceedings, Breivik’s lawyer Øystein Storrvik was asked whether his client was using the hearing to spread his propaganda.

“That is a right he has under Norwegian law,” he was quoted as saying by national broadcaster NRK. “Whether what he chooses to say is wise or not is another matter.”

Groups representing survivors and families of victims have said they won’t comment during the hearing. Before the session, Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, who heads a support group, said she was afraid Breivik would use the opportunity “to talk freely and convey his extreme views to people who have the same mindset.”

Breivik was declared criminally sane in his trial, even though the prosecution argued that he was psychotic. He didn’t appeal his sentence but unsuccessfully sued the government for human rights violations for denying him the right to communicate with sympathizers.

Although Norway’s maximum sentence is 21 years, Breivik could be held longer under a provision that allows authorities to keep criminals in prison for as long as they’re considered a menace to society.

Breivik has been trying to start a fascist party in prison and reached out by mail to likeminded extremists in Europe and the United States. Prison officials seized many of those letters, fearing he would inspire other violent attacks. Ahead of the parole hearing, Randi Rosenqvist, the psychiatrist who has followed Breivik since 2012, said she could “not detect great changes in Breivik’s functioning.”

___

Ritter reported from Stockholm. Jan M. Olsen in Copenhagen, Denmark, contributed.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Ohio court mediator arrested; allegedly sent feces to GOP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man is in custody after being accused of sending about three-dozen feces-filled letters to lawmakers around the country, including Ohio’s 25 Republican state senators in early July. Police arrested Richard Steinle, a 77-year-old from Mogadore, Ohio, and former Portage County Common Pleas Court mediator on Friday. Steinle is charged […]
1 day ago
In this handout photo taken from video and released by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Su...
Associated Press

US pledges $1 billion more rockets, other arms for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration announced another $1 billion in new military aid for Ukraine on Monday, pledging what will be the biggest yet delivery of rockets, ammunition and other arms straight from Department of Defense stocks for Ukrainian forces. The U.S. pledge of a massive new shipment of arms comes as analysts warned […]
1 day ago
In this undated photo released by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is Deputy Andrew Peery. Autho...
Associated Press

Sheriff’s deputy fatally shot at southern Colorado home

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Sunday while responding to a weekend shooting at a home in southern Colorado, authorities said. Deputy Andrew Peery was killed Sunday after he arrived at the home in the community of Security near Colorado Springs to investigate a report of a shooting along […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

MN school district policy bans teaching “divisive concepts”

BECKER, Minn. (AP) — A central Minnesota school district is clashing with the teachers union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion. The proposal by three Becker school board members prohibits “political indoctrination or the teaching of inherently divisive concepts,” in the district’s schools. Policy opponents say […]
1 day ago
FILE- In this image taken from police body camera video provided by The Moab Police Department, Gab...
Associated Press

Gabby Petito’s family files claim alleging police failed her

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gabby Petito’s family on Monday notified Utah officials of plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that police failed to recognize their daughter was in a life-threatening situation last year when officers investigated a fight between her and her boyfriend. The fight happened weeks before authorities say the boyfriend […]
1 day ago
FILE - Youngsters dive into the Mediterranean sea during a hot sunny day in Barcelona, Spain, July ...
Associated Press

Weather agency: July was Spain’s hottest month on record

MADRID (AP) — Spain has never had a month as hot as July in more than six decades, the national weather office AEMET said Monday. For the first time since weather records started in 1961, July registered an average temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit), that was 2.7 C (36 F) above the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Norway mass killer seeks parole 10 years after attacks