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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Breivik’s ‘apology’ branded ‘pathetic’

‘Terror defendant Anders Behring Breivik issued what he called was a “full apology” to some of those injured and killed in his bomb attack on Norway’s government last summer, but only those who had no ties to the state ministries he was targeting. A representative for all victims of the bombing called his apology “pathetic.”

Anders Behring Breivik (far left) talking with his defense attorneys before he started testifying again on Monday. PHOTO: NRK pool

Breivik, back on the witness stand as his trial entered its second week on Monday, came with what he called “a full apology” while being questioned by prosecutor Svein Holden in more detail about his attacks that killed 77 persons, eight of them in the bombing attack.

“There were some who were injured, and one person who was killed., who weren’t connected to the ministries or political parties, but were innocent bystanders,” Breivik testified. “To all of them … I want to issue a full apology. The goal wasn’t to hit innocent civilians as these people were. Therefore I want to direct a deep and full apology to them and their survivors.”

Asked whether he had a similar apology to all the other survivors and victims of his attacks, Breivik responded that “no,” he did not. He continued to calmly claim that his attacks were “gruesome but necessary”  as he targeted those he holds responsible for allowing Norway to become a multi-cultural society.

‘Surprising’ and ‘pathetic’
Jon Hestnes, a representative for survivors and the families of victims of the bombing said Breivik’s apology was “very surprising” but he had little confidence that Breivik meant what he said. “I think it was pathetic,” Hestnes told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “What he said doesn’t help anybody.”

There was similar reaction after Breivik claimed that he also lost his family and all his friends on July 22, because of what he did. “I sacrificed for that, I’ve lost everything,” he testified. The only difference, he suggested, what that he chose to make the “sacrifice.”

Prosecutors continued to question Breivik about each of the 69 murders he committed at a Labour Party youth summer camp on the island of Utøya after the bombing. More macabre details emerged, such as Breivik’s claim that “I know it’s very common to pretend you’re dead in such a situation.” That’s why he shot many persons repeatedly and at close range, while they were lying on the ground.

‘A little barbarity’
Breivik also said he “shot at arms and legs” that he spotted sticking out of terrified targets’ hiding places on the small island. He said he spared one young boy because “I wondered what in the world was such a little person doing at this camp? At an indoctrination camp?” He testified that he realized he “probably ruined the boy’s life,” that he  “was in shock, I’ve probably caused him massive psychological damage, he’ll struggle with post-traumatic stress.”

He said he was “aware of the suffering I’ve caused others. This was a little barbarity to prevent a bigger barbarity.”

Court proceedings for the rest of the week are scheduled to dwell on the bomb attack in downtown Oslo, with other witnesses testifying.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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