The trial of mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is dominating news reports across Europe and other parts of the world. The killing of 77 innocent people was carried out by Breivik, without a shadow of a doubt. The trial however is attempting to ascertain the man's state of mind at the time of the killings. Was he sane, a total madman, a calculated cold blooded killer, misguided or simply evil.
Today April 17, 2012 was the second day of what may become a lengthy trial. Beivik is loving his days in court. He obviously believes that he has the intelligence to be freed from all charges. He has done his research and smiles obnoxiously with each small triumph.
Today that triumph was managing to remove one of the judges from his trial. The male judge had at the time of the murders posted an online message saying that Breivik deserved the death penalty for what he had done. Anders smiled smugly as he won this point.
It will of course prove difficult if not impossible to guarantee Breivik a totally fair trial. The media attention in July 2011, when the murders took place, will have been viewed by most people. It always strikes this blogger as odd that someone who has no respect for the law of the land at all, wants to utilise it when deemed appropriate by themselves.
Breivik began today in court with his clenched fist salute. As soon as the cuffs were released he performed this action. Perhaps tomorrow they should leave the cuffs on and deny him this one small victory. His salute has been viewed as an almost Nazi salute to his extreme right wing brothers and sisters by some. For others it has been seen as an act of defiance. The same salute has been used in the past by those fighting for political freedom such as the black athletes in the 1968 Olympics. Be it purely defiance or Breivik's belief that he is fighting a political cause is unclear. It is after all a familiar left wing, anti fascist pose.
Today Anders told the court that what he did last year, that is the murders, was him "fighting a battle against multi-culturalism and acting out of "goodness, not evil".
SkyNews reporting from the court said Breivik, "Reading from a 13-page document that he wrote in custody, Anders Behring Breivik defended his massacre and called it the most "spectacular attack by a nationalist militant since World War Two".
He said he would repeat his actions again, if he could. "Yes, I would do it again," he said, adding that life in prison or dying for "his people" would be "the biggest honour".
At the core of his beliefs is racial purity. He beliefs in a white Norwegian race. He abhors mutli-culturalism. Breivik also claimed that other one man cells exist in Norway. On the stand Anders tried to turn his evidence into an excuse for a long meandering propaganda statement. The judge had to keep asking that he curtailed his offensive words and cut short his statements. Survivors and loved ones of the murdered, who were in court had a gruelling time.
Although his speech was researched and utilised history it was rambling. SkyNews reported, "For many people, it was very surprising to hear how soft, almost nasal, his voice was. He didn't appear dangerous in any way."It was very hard to see that this softly spoken man is actually the person who murdered 77 people."