Breivik offers apology to his non-political victims

Breivik offers apology to his non-political victims

OSLO - Agence France-Presse
Breivik offers apology to his non-political victims


Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people last July, said today he wanted to apologise for killing "innocent" people in his Oslo bombing, but offered no similar apology for the Utoeya massacre.

He also insisted that not only his victims and their families had their lives ruined on July 22: "I also lost everything," he lamented to the court.

For the first time since his trial started on April 16, the 33-year-old right-wing extremist voiced a small ounce of regret for his actions.

"I would like to offer a large apology" to those who were injured or killed in the bombing of an Oslo government building as they were just passing by and had no political connections, he said.

"They are not defined as legitimate targets." But when prosecutor Enga Bejer Engh asked if he wanted to say the same to any of the 69 people -- mainly teens -- slaughtered in his shooting massacre on the nearby island of Utoeya after the bombing, Breivik said: "No, I do not." He reiterated that youngsters attending a summer camp hosted by the ruling Labour Party's youth wing were "legitimate targets", as "political activists" working for the "deconstruction of Norwegian society" through the multiculturalism he insists is leading to a "Muslim invasion" of the country.

Instead, he insisted that "everyone who is linked to the (government) and the Labour Party ... should issue a large apology" to the Norwegian people.

In his own apology, Breivik mentioned in particular Kai Hauge, a 32-year-old man who was killed as he walked past the government building when it was bombed.

Hauge's mother Soelvi rejected the apology. "It is of course not enough," she told the Aftenposten daily's online edition, adding: "We will never get Kai back." Jon Hestnes, who represents survivors and family of the victims of the Oslo bombing, described Breivik's apology as surprising and insincere.

"I think it was pathetic. It doesn't help that he said that. There was no expression in his body language showing that he meant what he said," he told public broadcaster NRK.

Breivik continued Monday giving his account of events on Utoeya, providing chilling details of how he calmly walked across the island, picking off his victims one by one, shooting most of them point-blank in the head.

On the sixth day of his trial, he faced cross-examination from the prosecution and questions from his own defence about the deadliest massacre ever committed by a sole gunman, which he insists was "cruel but necessary." He stressed the shooting spree had been a "gruesome" experience for him as well, and that he had to force himself to carry it out since it felt so "against human nature." It was almost like "being asked to eat a plate of excrement," he said, acknowledging though that "it was probably more gruesome for the people I was hunting." He also stressed that not only the families of his victims had their lives ruined.

"One should remember that on July 22 I also lost ... my entire family, all my friends... I also lost everything," he told the court.

He said he had not realised that so many people on the island would be under 18 -- 33 of those killed were minors -- but that he only considered the two 14-year-olds as children.

He reiterated that he had spared the lives of two people, a girl and a boy, whom he deemed too young, and said he had not shot one man, Adrian Pracon, as "He did not look like a Marxist... He looked like someone like me." "The reason he gave for not killing me was shocking," Pracon told the VG daily's online edition, recalling how the killer had pointed his rifle at him and then suddenly walked away.

"It is sickening that he played my god, that he decided over who would live and die," he added.

The confessed killer said several others in Norway were "more deserving of execution than the Labour

Party youth," adding that if he had managed to attack a journalists conference, as originally planned,

"I might have enjoyed" the slaughter.

Breivik had been scheduled to testify Monday about his sanity, which is the main issue of contention during the 10-week trial, but that testimony was postponed until Wednesday so he could finish testifying about Utoeya.

He has been charged with "acts of terror" and faces either 21 years in prison -- a sentence that could thereafter be extended indefinitely if he is still considered a threat to society -- or closed psychiatric care, possibly for life.

A first court-ordered psychiatric exam found him insane, while a second opinion came to the opposite conclusion.

Breivik wants to be found sane and accountable for his actions, so that his anti-Islam ideology, as presented in the 1,500-page manifesto he published online just before the attacks, will be taken seriously and not considered the ravings of a lunatic.

He lamented Monday that his sanity was being questioned.

"If I had been a bearded Jihadi there would be no report at all... There would not be a need for a psychiatric evaluation," he said, maintaining he was the victim of "clear racism."