Today Anders Behring Breivik has had his "day in court". It will be one of many such days. Painful in the extreme to the loved ones of those murdered by Breivik, the trial is a necessary evil.
There is no doubt that Breivik committed the murders but what is on trial is his sanity and his motives. In spite of being caught red-handed and never claiming that he did not carry out the murders Brevik has pleaded not guilty.
On July 22, 2011, Anders Breivik systematically carried out acts that would directly lead to the deaths of 77 people. Firstly he set off explosions in the Norwegian capital before taking a trip to the nearby island of Utoyea. Here he went on a shooting spree killing many young people.
In some ways the police let the people down. Caught up in the Oslo bomb attack they were not as quick to respond to the second attack as they should have been. Arriving on the island an hour later the destruction was complete. But of course the only person truly responsible for the many deaths was Breivik.
Brevik was uncuffed in court and immediately went into a closed fist communist or defiant salute. He smiled slightly and appeared a calm and quietly spoken individual. He showed no emotion as the names of the dead were read out. The reading of the long list took almost as long as it did for Anders to kill them all.
In his opening words, Anders told the court, "I don't recognise Norwegian courts because you get your mandate from the Norwegian political parties who support multiculturalism." After the names, details and outlines of each death were read out he went on, "I admit to the acts, but not criminal guilt." He then told the court that he had acted in self-defence.
Throughout his court appearance Breivik showed that he is a well read and intelligent, or perhaps that should be educated, man. He will attempt to claim that he acted in defence. This stems from a Norwegian law which holds the principle of preventive self-defence. Breivik is anti Muslim and believes that current legislation allows for mass immigration into Norway and a "Muslim takeover".
Breivik will of course hope to use his trial as a platform for his fanatical right wing views.Deemed sane enough to stand trial only recently he has all the hallmarks of a mad man. If tired and found guilty as a sane individual he faces up to 21 years in jail. Most people would expect a much longer jail term for him.
In court today he did finally shed tears and look somewhat emotional but that was when his extreme video footage was played.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog