Anders Behring Breivik pleads not guilty to Norway massacre


Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway last year, looks on at the opening of his trial in Oslo district courtroom on April 16, 2012.



Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian extremist who confessed to killing 77 people in a combined bombing and shooting rampage last summer, has pleaded not guilty and rejected the authority of the court trying him.

On the first day of his 10-week trial in Oslo on Monday, the anti-Islamic militant — charged with committing "acts of terror" in twin attacks last July — declared: "I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt and I claim self-defense."

Breivik, 33, who has described his actions as "cruel but necessary" to prevent the "Muslim invasion" of Europe, also clenched his fist in a far-right salute, the Associated Press reported.

According to Reuters, he smirked several times as his handcuffs were removed, in full view of about 700 attack survivors and family members of victims who watched the hearing on closed-circuit video.

In entering a plea of not guilty, he said: "I do not recognize the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism. I do not acknowledge the authority of the court."

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Breivik intends to deny criminal guilt and say that in setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then killing 69 in a shooting spree at a summer youth camp on Utoya Island, he was defending Norway against multiculturalism and Islam.

According to CNN, he then listened as prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh took over an hour to read the charges against him and listed each of his 77 victims and and how they died.

Engh listed the injuries the victims on Utoya Island suffered, including shots to the head and body.

Agence France-Presse live blogged the day's proceedings.

The "lone wolf" killer intends to deny criminal guilt.

Breivik's defense team has called 29 witnesses, ranging from Islamists to right-wing bloggers.

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