Norway Gunman Breivik Makes First Appearance since Twin Terror Attacks (Video)
Criscione, Valeria, The Christian Science Monitor
Today's court appearance by Anders Behring Breivik, the Norway gunman charged in a July bombing and shooting spree that killed 77 people, was the first chance for press and victims' relatives to hear him speak.
Several hundred people packed Oslo District Court to hear Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian gunman charged in twin terror attacks on July 22, speak before press and victims for the first time since the attacks, which killed 77 people.
The country is still haunted by the national tragedy that shocked the normally quiet Nordic nation, which was hoping that today's public hearing would give some insight into what kind of man could commit such violence.
The 32-year-old Breivik appeared composed, dressed in a dark suit with light blue tie, for his open court custody hearing. He sat face to face with about 80 members of the press and 50 survivors, victims' relatives, and victims rights' attorneys.
Breivik stared somberly toward the prosecution for most of the 25-minute hearing. He pleaded not guilty to the terror charges but only after being cut off by justice Torkjel Nesheim as he launched into one of several diatribes during the court proceedings.
"I am a military commander in the Norwegian military resistance movement... and a Knight Templar," Breivik replied, when asked his plea. "[The court has] a mandate from those that support multiculturalism."
The judge granted the prosecution's request to extend his custody by 12 weeks, but relaxed the current ban on letters and visits, which will now be allowed but monitored, for the next eight weeks. He extended the ban on access to media by four more weeks.
Breivik has been in custody for 16 weeks, essentially in solitary confinement. He is awaiting trial, expected in April, for bombing a government building and carrying out a mass shooting spree on a political youth camp being held on the island of Utoya.
The two attacks are Norway's worst national tragedy since World War II.
Herman Heggertveit, a "relieved" 18-year old Labor Party youth member who survived the Utoya attack, says it was "therapy" for him to see Breivik in court. …