Breivik trial: Key moments of opening day

The man accused of killing 77 people in Norway last July has pleaded not guilty to acts of terrorism and mass murder. Anders Behring Breivik admits carrying out twin attacks - a bombing in the capital, Oslo, followed by a shooting rampage on the island of Utoeya - but denies criminal responsibility. Here are the key moments of the opening day of his trial:


Dressed in a dark suit, a white shirt and a loosely knotted gold tie, Breivik smiled several times as a guard removed his handcuffs inside the Oslo district courtroom at the opening of his trial. He then made a fist with his right hand, put it on his heart and then extended his arm in a salute.

After a brief statement by the lead judge, Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen, he said: "I do not recognise the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism."

Breivik, who described himself as a "writer", also did not recognise the authority of Judge Arntzen, claiming she was a friend of the sister of former prime minister and Labour party leader Gro Harlem Brundtland. Labour organised the youth camp on Utoeya targeted by Breivik.

The judge noted the objections, which Breivik's lawyer said were not official, and said the defence could follow up on them later.

Victims' names

Breivik showed no emotion as a prosecutor, Inga Bejer Engh, read out the indictment, describing at length and in detail how 77 of his victims died, and how others lost limbs or their sight.

Ms Engh told the court that Breivik had "created fear in the Norwegian population and described the "panic and mortal fear in children, youths and adults" trapped on Utoeya as Breivik carried out his massacre.

"He shot at people who were fleeing or hiding, or who he lured out by saying he was a policeman," she added, noting that most of the 69 people killed at the political youth camp were shot in the head.

She warned that there was a serious risk of Breivik re-offending if he was not locked up in prison or committed to a psychiatric care.

"The defendant has committed extremely serious offences on a scale that has never previously been experienced in our country in modern terms," she said.

"In his opinion, these acts have been legitimate and lawful and there's undoubtedly an obvious and evident fear that a new series of offences of the same nature will occur."


Following the indictment, Judge Arntzen asked Breivik: "Do you plead guilty completely or in part to these charges?"

The defendant replied: "I acknowledge the acts, but not criminal guilt - I claim I was doing it in self-defence."

'Knights Templar'

In his opening statement, prosecutor Svein Holden gave a brief history of Breivik's life, starting with his birth in 1979, followed by his education and then covering the three companies he set up as an adult.

The 33-year-old experienced several "important incidents" in 2003, including making "significant money" selling fake degree and diploma certificates, leaving a long-time job and moving into an apartment on his own for the first time, Mr Holden added.

He also addressed Breivik's claim that he was a member of a secretive "resistance" movement known as the "Knights Templar". Investigators have found no evidence of its existence and believe he acted alone.

"In our opinion, such a network does not exist," he told the court.

Propaganda film

Breivik was impassive throughout the indictment and the prosecution's opening statement. But he broke down in tears as Mr Holden screened a 12-minute video about the evils of "multiculturalism" and "Islamic demographic warfare", which he had posted online before the attacks.

He was comforted by his lawyers. According to a lip-reader for Norway's TV2, Breivik appeared to tell them: "It was an emotional video".

Surveillance footage

Breivik also showed emotion as the prosecution showed animated reconstructions and previously unreleased surveillance footage from the car bomb attack outside government offices in Oslo city centre.

While victims and their families gasped as they saw the blast, followed by scenes of panic as people fled, Breivik smiled on several occasions.

'Supporting document'

Breivik's defence lawyer, Geir Lippestad, later presented his opening statement. He again stressed that his client did not dispute the facts but he did plead "not guilty", citing "legitimate self-defence".

Mr Lippestad said Breivik wanted to be judged as a sane person and would call radical Islamists, and both left- and right-wing extremists to testify to support "his perception that there is a war going on in Europe".

Breivik also wanted to read a "supporting document", which he had written, at the start of his testimony on Tuesday, he told the court.

Mr Lippestad said that although he was conscious of concerns about Breivik using the trial to air his views, it was "perhaps the most important piece of evidence" in the trial and would help establish his client's sanity.