LONDON -- Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing Norwegian fanatic who has admitted killing 77 people on the Norwegian island of Utoya and in the Oslo city center last July, told a court Tuesday that he had carried out "the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack ... in Europe since World War II."
The confessed 33-year-old killer was captured on video raising his right arm in a fascist-style clenched-fist salute as he entered the court in Oslo. His testimony, which began with a statement in which he sought to explain his actions, was not broadcast due to a judicial decision to avoid giving a televised platform to his violent anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant views. But his remarks were widely reported.
Ignoring demands from presiding Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen to limit his statement, Breivik continued his justification for the massacre, according to a BBC report. He claimed that he would have "done it again" to defend Norway and that his actions were based on "goodness, not evil."
Breivik compared the killings to the U.S. use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, according to an Associated Press report, which quoted him as saying, "The attacks on July 22 were a preventive strike. I acted in self-defense on behalf of my people, my city, my country."
The second day of his trial was temporarily delayed as Thomas Indreboe, a lay judge on the five-member panel, was dismissed for Internet comments he made last summer calling for the death penalty for Breivik. He was replaced by Judge Elisabeth Wisloeff.
Breivik and witnesses on his behalf will give evidence for the rest of the week, but none of the testimony is scheduled to be broadcast.
Authorities charge that Breivik targeted an annual Labor Party political camp on Utoya, shooting and killing 69 young Norwegians, and blew up a government building in central Oslo, leaving eight people dead.
His trial is expected to last 10 weeks and he faces a sentence of 21 years in prison, which can be extended if he is considered a danger to society.
-- Janet Stobart
Photo: Anders Behring Breivik approaches the witness box in an Oslo courtroom on Tuesday. Credit: Lise Aserud / Associated Press