OSLO - After massacring at least 76 people, most of them young members of the Norwegian Labor Party, right-wing zealot Anders Behring Breivik had a request: To be defended by Oslo lawyer Geir Lippestad.
Lippestad was already well known in Norway for defending in a racially-motivated murder case. But Breivik apparently did not know another biographical detail of his lawyer -- Lippestad is himself a member of Labor, the party whose policies of racial tolerance and multiculturalism the killer loathes.
"Someone has to do this job," the lawyer told a news conference. Lippestad, who received Breivik's request through the police the day after Friday's bombings and shootings, said he spent 10 to 12 hours making up his mind before agreeing to accept the case as a matter of principle.
"My first reaction was that this was too difficult," he said. "But then I sat down with family, friends and colleagues and we said that today is the time to think about democracy, and if I said no to this job, then I would say no to democracy."