Breivik sentenced to ‘21 years’, apologizes for not killing more
In an often harrowing 13-month legal proceeding which found Berivik guilty of carrying out last July’s bombing and shooting massacre which killed 77 and wounded over 240, the Norwegian far-right extremist remained defiant until the end.
In his final statement before the court, Breivik insisted he did not “recognize the court as it “received its mandate from political parties that accept multiculturalism."
“Since I don't recognize the authority of the court, I cannot legitimize the Oslo district court by accepting the verdict," he continued. "At the same time I cannot appeal the verdict, because by appealing it, I would legitimize the court."
Shocking those attending the final session with his cold-hearted defiance, Breivik said "I wish to apologize to all militant nationalists that I wasn't able to execute more" before being cut off by a judge. He would give one final clinched-fist salute before being led out of the courtroom for the last time.
Breivik sat back with smug satisfaction when the verdict was initially read, with the five-judge panel unanimously declaring him sane and sentencing him to 21 years of "preventive detention," which means he can theoretically be held for life.
Breivik has previously stated that a ruling pronouncing him sane would validate his crime as a political act, while an insanity ruling would be a fate “worse than death.”
Having long expressed his desire to receive a guilty verdict, Breivik portrayed himself during the trial as an anti-Muslim militant, claiming "armed revolution" was the only stop Norway from being systematically islamicized.
With the Norwegian director of public prosecutions saying the state would not contest the verdict, the ruling is in practical terms legally binding despite a 14-day deadline to appeal.
Visible distress in the courtroom
The atmosphere in the courtroom was cold, but painful as the judges repeated the particulars of the crime. They described how the fertilizer bomb that Breivik detonated was made, and how police confirmed that the bomb was manufactured exactly as Breivik had explained.
Breivik had trained extensively for his killing spree, Norway’s worst mass killing since World War II. He had taken backpacks filled with stones on hiking trips to practice his shooting skills, as well as played computer games such as World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare II for the same purpose.
He also claimed that he had practiced a Japanese meditation technique designed to ‘de-emotionalize’ himself during the shooting.
Police had taken blood and hair samples from him after the arrest showing that he had also been under the influence of a CNS stimulant.
As the judges read the testimony, Breivik, meanwhile, calmly poured himself a glass of water as his bloody spree was recreated.
At one point during the shooting, someone from a window asked what he was doing. Breivik, who had obtained and was wearing a uniform resembling that of the police, said that he was a police officer who had home to protect them. Breivik had also tried to confuse some by asking where the shooter was.
Teenage victims were "cultural Marxists" threatening Norwegian ethnic purity
Breivik had pleaded guilty to killing 77 people in June 2011, first detonating a bomb in Oslo which left 8 dead, then on the same day killing 69 more – mostly teenagers – after going on a shooting spree at a Labor party youth camp, on Utoya Island.
Breivik claims he was protecting Norway against Islam and multiculturalism, which he accused the ruling Labor party of promoting, and had promised to fight an “insansity” verdict that would deprive his act of political significance, calling psychiatric incarceration a “fate worse than death.”
"I think we all can agree that on July 22, a barbaric thing happened," Breivik said while delivering a somewhat muddled closing statement in June. “I carried out a small barbarism to stop a greater barbarism, ” he said, referring to his view that Norway’s immigration policies had created a “demographic war” against non-muslims, in which he felt obligated to defend himself.
Breivik’s lawyer Geir Lippestad had previously argued to find Breivik insane would be a violation of his human rights, as it would deny him his role in carrying out “a political project.”
"If we look at the basic human rights and take into account that the defendant has a political project – to see his actions as an expression of illness is to take away a basic human right, the right to take responsibility for one's own actions," Lippestad insisted as the 10-week-long trial wrapped up in June.
Breivik had given a clenched fist salute at several hearings. According to Breivik’s manifesto, the clenched fist salute is the salute of “Templar knights”, symbolizing“ strength, honor and defiance”. Breivik made a video in 2010 entitled “Templar Knights 2083”, which claimed was a shortened version of the manifesto.
"One of the most widespread manifestations of the craziness of our world is multiculturalism," Breivik wrote in his rambling 1,500 page manifesto.
Elsewhere, he mentioned the “ghettofication” process happening across Europe, where immigrants are allegedly failing to assimilate in their host nations.
Breivik’s jail cell has been the subject of controversy. On the chance that Breivik was found not guilty by reason of insanity, Breivik would have been the sole patient of a psychiatric ward that cost 130,000 and 260,000 euro built just for him. According to Associated Press reports, 17 people would have been on staff to treat him.
As it is, Breivik currently occupies a three-room jail cell, equipped with a computer and treadmill, having access to a games room, television, newspapers and daily outdoor strolls. It likely to this jail cell that he will now return.
Analysts had been conflicted on Breivik’s mental status. Initially, forensic psychiatrists Torgeir Husby and Synne Sørheim concluded that Breivik was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, in a report issued last December. Following a massive wave of criticism from legal and psychiatric experts, the court decided to appoint two new psychiatrists, who in April found that Breivik was legally sane.
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik arrives to hear the verdict in his trial at a courtroom in Oslo August 24, 2012. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)
Self confessed mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik (R) has his handcuffs removed watched by defence lawyer Geir Lippestad (L) on arrival in court room 250 at the central court Oslo on August 24, 2012. (AFP Photo/Odd Andersen)