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Suspect in Norwegian attacks to speak in court

Other News Materials 25 July 2011 12:09
Norwegian Police were to move for a closed-door custody session at the Oslo court Monday of the suspect in last week's attacks in Norway that claimed at least 93 dead.
Suspect in Norwegian attacks to speak in court

Norwegian Police were to move for a closed-door custody session at the Oslo court Monday of the suspect in last week's attacks in Norway that claimed at least 93 dead, dpa reported.

Anders Behring Breivik, 32, has been charged in connection with the bombing in Oslo's government district on Friday that killed at least seven and the shooting that left at least 86 people dead at a youth camp on nearby Utoya island the same day.

A closed-door session would likely rob Breivik of a potential propaganda platform.

In a huge 1,500-page manifesto published on the internet just prior to the attacks, Breivik described how trials could form a "propaganda phase."

The manifesto - accompanied by a video - lists various "enemies," criticizing multiculturalism and stated how immigrants, especially Muslims, should be banished from Europe. It was signed with the name Andrew Berwick, likely a Anglicized version of his Norwegian name.

Numerous references are made to the medieval Knights Templars. Oslo police chief Sveinung Sponheim told reporters a large police contingent would be deployed at the Oslo district court.

The accused had requested that the hearing be held in public and also wear a kind of uniform in court, his attorney Geir Lippestad told public broadcaster NRK.

In statements to police Breivik has said he carried out the attacks because he wanted to "change society," the attorney said.

The massacre at the Utoya island targeted members attending a youth camp organized by the ruling Labour Party.

During questioning, Breivik said that he had intended to shoot former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland during her presentation on the island earlier in the afternoon but he was delayed, daily Aftenposten said, citing police sources.

Brundtland, who was prime minister for three terms between 1981 and 1996, is referred to as a "murderer of the country" on a web posting thought to be connected to the suspect and his extremist anti-immigration position.

Norway was to hold a minute's silence at noon (1000 GMT) to commemorate the victims of the attacks.

Neighbouring Denmark, Sweden and Finland were to follow suit.

Five people remained unaccounted for at Utoya, and police were also searching through buildings in Oslo that were badly damaged in the blast.

At least 31 people were reportedly in serious or critical condition at hospital.

In his statements to police, Breivik said he had conducted the acts alone. Police said they were trying to verify the statement.

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