The ultra right-wing extremist Norwegian who killed 77 people in a terrorist attack won’t be allowed to have his testimony broadcast when his lawsuit against the Norwegian state over his prison conditions gets underway next month. Court officials want to prevent from conveying any coded messages to supporters.
Anders Behring Breivik has filed suit against the state, claiming the terms of his imprisonment violate his human rights. Although he has been housed in multi-room cells with access to exercise equipment, a computer and other amenities, he’s been held in isolation since his arrest in July 2011. The isolation is tied to the high levels of security around Breivik, both to protect others from him and to protect him from other prisoners.
The court agreed to hear his complaint, setting a four-day trial in the gymnasium of the prison in Skien where he’s currently being held. The trial will be open to press coverage, but restrictions were announced Thursday on broadcasting. “The court has determined that his testimony shouldn’t be broadcast because its focus can be directed away from the case itself and over towards his ideological message,” court official Ina Strømstad told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). She said the judges also suspected the plaintiff would try to send coded messages to other right-wing extremists “and people with whom he’s not allowed to communicate.”
Court officials, Strømstad said, were also taking into consideration the feelings of the survivors and families of victims of Breivik’s attacks. The vast majority of them don’t want to be reminded of him or his ideological beliefs that led him to attack the Labour Party and the government it led at the time because of their allowances for immigration.
Breivik was sentenced to Norway’s longest possible prison term of 21 years with a protective custody clause that can keep him in prison for life.