Correspondent in Berlin
With a shaved head, a tight-fitting suit jacket and extending his right arm in a Nazi salute, the terrorist has entered the audience Anders Behring Breivikwho is serving a sentence for the murder of 77 people in Norway in 2011. Breivik was sentenced to 21 years in prison and now, on his tenth year, he has summoned the court to ask for parole. He knows that he does not have the slightest chance of obtaining it, but he wanted to take advantage of the occasion for an ideological-propagandistic spectacle that the court has not been able to prevent.
As soon as he entered the sports center of the Skien prison where he is serving his sentence, as far as the court has moved exceptionally and for security reasons, he has made a gesture with his fingers with which they identify white supremacists.
Then he raised his right arm and extended his hand, while with his left he held a poster that read “Stop the genocide against our white nations.”
The families of his victims had expressed fears that Breivik would use the three-day hearing, which is being broadcast virtually live on Norwegian television, as a platform to spread his political views and ideology. At 42, he has shown no remorse for the crimes that landed him in prison, but the District Court in the South Region of Telemark is required by law to review your conviction and stoically endured his spectacle while the opening remarks of the prosecutor, Dag Bjorvik, were read. His sentence is the harshest handed down in Norway for this type of offence, although the law has since been amended to allow for the possibility of longer prison sentences. Parole is unlikely, but he attracts enormous media attention.
“He is a living devil. They should not put judges and prosecutors in that room with him, but exorcists,” a woman carrying the banner “chain Breivik well” told local television. “It is proof to all of us that a person who murdered children, who in cold blood shot people who were begging for their lives, can also benefit from the liberal aspects of our criminal justice system,” he wrote in his op-ed. today the Norwegian newspaper VG.
On July 22, 2011, Breivik carried out a terrorist attack with a car bomb in the neighborhood Government of Oslo, with eight fatalities, and later unleashed a shooting at a summer camp of the Youth League (AUF) on the island of Utoya, with the balance of 69 murdered adolescents whose relatives today mostly attend the view. He said he killed them all because they “embraced multiculturalism.” His 21-year sentence is in practice equivalent to life because it can be extended indefinitely, but he is entitled to periodic review.
The Prosecutor’s Office opposed the request for review a few months ago, alleging that there is a real danger that it will commit new crimes, and that is why the issue must now be resolved by the court. When Breivik sued the Norwegian State in 2015 for the solitary confinement to which he is subjected in prison, the case ended with a ruling against him by the European Court of Human Rights, which determined that the prisoner’s violent character justified such a measure and that he valued the fact that he had a television, DVD player, a game console and a typewriter in his cell removed the situation from the accusation of “inhuman” and “degrading treatment” that the prisoner denounced.
Apart from the propaganda opportunity that the process entails, the review offers the interest aroused by the fact that it is the first time that he has appeared in public since the sentence and that the result of the last psychiatric examination to be made public will be made public in court. he has been subjected by the psychiatrist Randi Rosenqvist, who has declared to the newspaper Aftenposten that he continues to be a very violence-oriented person. “It is clear that it can be a great burden for the families and survivors. Each mention or appearance of the terrorist can contribute to retraumatization”, recognized the president of the National Victim Support Group, Lisbeth Royneland, who lost her daughter in the Utoya massacre, “but it is completely unreal that he can be released and the law must be followed.” “As in any other rule of law, a convict has the right to apply for conditional release and Breivik has decided to exercise this right,” insists his lawyer Oystein Storrvik. “The rule of law applies to all Norwegian citizens.” Tore Bjorgo, head of the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo, says that “he has not become less extremist from an ideological point of view nor has he distanced himself in any way from the mass slaughter he committed. and that he considers totally legitimate.