Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Defendant in Norway massacre trial wants freedom or death for massacre

OSLO, Norway — The right-wing fanatic on trial for massacring 77 people in Norway says he wants either freedom or death, calling the country's prison terms "pathetic" and arguing for the return of capital punishment, which was last used here to execute Nazi collaborators after World War II.

On the third day of his trial, Anders Behring Breivik was grilled by prosecutors about the anti-Muslim militant group he claims to belong to.

He rejected their suggestions that the group, "Knights Templar," doesn't exist but admitted he had embellished when describing the network in a 1,500-page manifesto he published online before the bomb-and-shooting rampage on July 22.

Prosecutors told reporters after Wednesday's hearing that they don't think the group is real or that the meetings Breivik claims took place in Liberia, Britain and the Baltic countries ever happened.

The issue is of key importance in determining Breivik's sanity and whether he's ultimately sent to prison or to compulsory psychiatric care for carrying out Norway's worst peacetime massacre.

If found sane, Breivik could face a maximum 21-year prison sentence or an alternate custody arrangement that would keep him locked up as long as he is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to psychiatric care for as long as he's considered ill.

"Acquittal or the death penalty are the only logical outcomes of this case," the confessed killer said. "I view 21 years in prison as a pathetic sentence."

Breivik described himself as a resistance fighter ready to die for his cause.

The 33-year-old Norwegian claims Muslim immigrants are colonizing Europe, with the tacit approval of liberal "multiculturalist" governments. That's why he says he chose to attack the government headquarters in Oslo and the annual summer camp of the Labor Party's youth wing.

Eight people were killed in the Oslo bombing and 69, mostly teenagers, were slain on Utoya island outside the capital.

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