Smirking Norway killer Breivik pleads not guilty

By REUTERS
April 16, 2012 16:35

The Norwegian far-right militant who massacred 77 people last summer gave a clenched-fist salute, smirked at the court and pleaded not guilty on the first day of a trial that threatens to turn into a "circus" showcasing his anti-Islamic views.

Anders Behring Breivik, 33, has said he acted in defense of his country by setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then killing another 69 people in a shooting spree at a summer youth camp organized by the ruling Labour Party.The real question of the trial will be whether Breivik will be declared insane or guilty. While he risks being kept behind bars for the rest of his life, the high school dropout has said being labelled insane would be a "fate worse than death".

Listening impassively for hours as prosecutors read out an indictment detailing how he massacred teenagers trapped on a holiday island outside Oslo, he only shed tears when the court later showed one of his propaganda videos.

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