Anders Behring Breivik: Oslo shooter makes first public court appearance


Bomb and terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik (red top) leaves the courthouse in a police car in Oslo on July 25, 2011, after the hearing to decide his further detention. Breivik will be held in solitary confinement for the first four weeks, with a ban on all communication with the outside world in a bid to aid a police investigation into his acts.


Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen

Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to the massacre of 77 people, appeared in a public court in Norway's capital Oslo Monday.

Some 30 survivors and relatives of those he killed were present, reported the BBC.

Psychiatric and legal experts have decided that Breivik is fit to stand trial for the 22 July attacks in Oslo and a summer camp on the nearby island of Utoya, CNN reported. Lawyers had previously argued that he was insane and therefore could not be considered criminally responsible for his acts.

His trial will begin on April 16 2012, Judge Geir Engebretsen told a press conference Monday afternoon.

Breivik admits the killings, but has refused to plead guilty in court.

At Monday's hearing, he claimed to be a resistance leader and therefore above the court's authority, reported Reuters:

"I am a military commander in the Norwegian resistance movement and Knights Templar Norway. Regarding the competence [of the court], I object to it because you received your mandate from organisations that support hate ideology [and] because it supports multiculturalism."

Breivik had prepared a statement, which he attempted to read but was swiftly cut off by the judge, reported Agence France Presse. He was also denied his request to address the families of his victims.

More from GlobalPost: Norway: Where's the anger?

Breivik seemed "cold and inhuman," said survivor Tim Viskjer, quoted by the Associated Press. It was difficult to see the gunman for the first time since the attack, Viskjer said, but he thought it had helped him to move on.

Until now Norway has kept Breivik's court appearances out of the public eye, to avoid giving him a platform for his violent far-right views.

All previous hearings have taken place behind closed doors, said AFP, while police had originally requested that Breivik take part in Monday's hearing via videolink from the high-security prison where he is being held in solitary confinement.

More from GlobalPost: Norway's Christian terrorist leads to soul searching

Norway's supreme court ruled Friday that he could appear in person, but a gag order was placed to prevent journalists reporting his words. That order was lifted at the end of Monday's hearing.

The hearing was to decide the conditions of Brevik's pre-trial detention. The judge extended Breivik's custody for another 12 weeks, but relaxed the conditions of his solitary confinement.

More from GlobalPost: Anders Behring Breivik's scary internet world

In .

Tagged: Europe.