Breivik’s mother avoids testifying

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The mother of mass murder and terror defendant Anders Behring Breivik has been granted permission to refuse to testify at her son’s trial, which started this week. Court officials said she won the reprieve for health-related reasons.

Both the prosecution and defense attorneys reportedly had been interested in questioning her in court on Breivik’s background and behavior before he launched last summer’s attacks that killed 77 persons.

As the defendant’s closest relative, she would have been able to refuse to testify, but her name nonetheless was included on a list of those the prosecution wanted to summon. Defense attorneys for Breivik had already decided not to summon her, however, because Breivik himself didn’t want his mother in court. The two reportedly have had no contact since his attacks on July 22.

Irene Ramm, information chief for the Oslo City Court (Oslo Tingrett), said Breivik’s mother had applied for an exemption from a summons, and the court granted it a few days ago.

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