A young ultra right-wing Norwegian man was back in court on Monday, now claiming it was “necessary” for him to murder his adopted ethnically Chinese sister and then start shooting inside a mosque in Bærum last month. The court granted prosecutors’ request that he continue to be held in custody, with at least two more weeks in full isolation.
Philip Manshaus, his facial bruises healed after he was overpowered at the mosque until police arrived, entered the court this time wearing a suit and tie. Escorted by two police officers, Manshaus made a Nazi salute that his defense attorney Unni Fries refused to comment on.
His custody hearing was then closed to the press, but Fries said he told the court that “this (the murder and mosque attack) was something he had to do, that it was necessary and something he felt he had a responsibility to carry out.” She added that Manshaus views his actions as a nødrettslig handling, meaning that he believes he was justified in resorting to illegal acts to protect life or property.
Manshaus, age 22, has acknowledged killing his 17-year-old step-sister Johanne Zhangia Ihle-Hansen, who’d been adopted from China as a toddler, before proceeding to the Al-Noor Islamic Centre in Bærum and opening fire. His sister’s funeral was held last week and attended by both Justice Minister Jøran Kallmyr and philosopher Henrik Syse, a member of the committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize but who also was a longtime friend of Manshaus’ father.
Both Kallmyr and Syse spoke at the funeral, with Syse noting that the 17-year-old had actively opposed racism. The family had asked for donations to the Norwegian Anti-Racism Center’s youth division in lieu of flowers, which Kallmyr commended as a gesture of strength and reconciliation. One local Muslim leader who was among those invited to the funeral called Johanne “a heroine” because she may have prevented more lives from being lost on the day of her step-brother’s attacks.