Conflict & Justice

Norwegian mass killer allowed to receive visitors


Mourners comfort each other at a memorial vigil in July, following attacks by Anders Behring Breivik.


Paula Bronstein

MALMO, Sweden — Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in Norway last July, will be permitted to receive visitors on Tuesday, ending almost six months of isolation.

The decision will allow Mr Breivik, if he wishes, to give his first interviews with the media, and also potentially to receive visits from supporters of his extreme anti-Islamic ideology.

Odd Groen, a lawyer for Mr Breivik, said his client had already received requests from 'fans' seeking to visit him in prison.

"There have been requests from fans," he confirmed. "There are letters from people giving him support, there are people who want to tell him that they don’t want to give him support, and also letters from journalists requesting arrangements."

Breivik, 32, has confessed to setting off a bomb in Oslo's government district on July 22, killing eight people, and then shooting another 69 people dead at a summer camp of the governing Labour Party's youth wing.

Mr Groen said that the requested meetings would only go ahead if Mr Breivik makes an application to the authorities at Ila prison, where he is being held in detention in the run-up to his trial in April.

"We have forwarded these requests to Mr Breivik, and so far he has not made any conclusion on any of them," he said. "He has not yet decided if he wants to take visits, who he wants to take visits from, and when."

Any prospective visit would also need to receive approval from the prison authorities on safety grounds.

The ban on visits expires on January 9 under the terms of the extension to Mr Breivik’s time in custody until Febuary 6, which was decided by the Oslo court back in November. A similar ban on Mr Breivik receiving letters and newspapers expired on 12 December. Last week police prosecutors said they would not seek a further extension to the ban on visits.