Geir Lippestad, the lawyer who defended right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, will no longer be helping Breivik with his ongoing legal complaints from prison. Lippestad, now an active politician for the Labour Party that Breivik targeted, told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday that Breivik demanded more than he could offer, without being paid.
“Our work for Breivik was completed in 2012 (when Breivik was convicted),” Lippestad told NRK. “After that, we’ve followed up his confinement free of charge, but he expects more than we can offer.”
Lippestad has also taken on a more active role in the Labour Party and was even tipped last year to be Labour’s candidate for mayor of Oslo. He also took on a job as chairman of the left-leaning think tank Agenda, which has ties to Labour and is run by Marte Gerhardsen, granddaughter of the legendary Labour leader and longtime prime minister Einar Gerhardsen.
He has also remained an active lawyer and recently represented Breivik after the convicted mass-murderer had complained about being confined to his three-room cells at both the Grini and Skien prisons. Breivik is regularly moved back and forth between the two prisons, reportedly because he’s such a difficult prisoner for the guards to deal with.
Lippestad has claimed to be concerned about Breivik’s isolation from other prisoners, who themselves have complained that Breivik’s special treatment takes resources away from them. Prison authorities have claimed that Breivik needs to be isolated from other prisoners for his own protection.
The question, Lippestad told NRK, “was whether we should take (Breivik’s complaint) back to court. We offered our advice but he has other expectations. He wants something completely different from another court case than what we believe is defensible. He therefore wanted another lawyer.”
Lawyer Øystein Storrvik will now take over from Lippestad, although it was unclear whether Storrvik will be working for free like Lippestad said he was. Storrvik has defended criminals including David Toska, mastermind of the commando-style NOKAS robbery in 2004 that also led to the theft of the famed paintings by Edvard Munch, The Scream and Madonna. Storrvik told newspaper VG that he believes convicts with lengthy prison terms make up a group “that perhaps has the biggest need for judicial help.”
Lippestad told NRK it was “just fine” for him to finished with Breivik, who he repeatedly said had expectations that he couldn’t or wouldn’t meet. He declined, in a lengthy radio interview aired Thursday afternoon, to go into more detail about what those expectations were.