Wounded Breivik survivor Lars Groennestad testifies
- 14 May 2012
- From the section Europe
Lars Groennestad, now a 20-year-old chemistry student, is one of several witnesses who were wounded by Anders Behring Breivik but survived to confront the killer in court.
When Breivik shot Mr Groennestad, the bullet punctured one of his lungs and narrowly missed his spine. On Monday, the student testified in court while the man who tried to kill him sat a few metres away. He spoke to the BBC's Lars Bevanger afterwards.
How would you describe the experience?
It [the court room] looks so much bigger on TV. That was strange, sitting so close to the prosecuted. And then having all these questions thrown at you by the court. Strange - that's the word I would use.
Because you haven't seen him since that day on the island?
No, I haven't been paying any attention to the news or been to the courtroom. I have three exams next week at university level, so I have to focus. So I've chosen to focus on school and just take things as they come.
Does it matter to you whether the court finds him sane or insane?
No, not really. Because I know that if he's found not accountable he'll be sent to psychiatric care for the rest of his life. But if he's found accountable I guess he would be in prison for the rest of his life as well.
The extent of the medical care he'll receive is the biggest difference. So for me it doesn't matter, because from what little law I know, I think he'll be locked away for the rest of his life.
Some survivors say they don't want to give Breivik any more of their time, how do you feel about him now?
In the beginning I had to go to a psychologist once a week; I had physiotherapy three times a week; I had weekly appointments with my doctor and then controls at the hospital. And I spent so much time on getting better.
Some nights I was sleep-deprived because I read the news and I read about him, so I've used a lot of energy on this man. and I'm just so happy because I've now done my duty, I've testified, I've done what I can do to get him in jail and now I'm hopefully just done with the whole thing.
I know there's going to be a lot of things in the media and so on, but I'm done with my part and I can just go back to be normal.
Will you ever go back to Utoeya?
Yes, I hope so. But only time will tell. We'll see.