Oslo, April 19 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik appeared increasingly irritated and uncooperative, and largely refused to answer as prosecutors questioned him about his alleged “militant nationalist” contacts.
“It is not in my interest to shed light on details that could lead to arrests,” Breivik was quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
Breivik, who murdered 77 innocent people in July last year, claims to have carried out the attacks on behalf of the Knights Templar — an alleged network of militant nationalists fighting the “Muslim colonisation” of Europe — that he founded with three other people in London in 2002.
The 33-year-old extremist described the militant nationalist group in a 1,500-page manifesto he posted online before the attacks.
Norwegian police have never been able to prove the existence of the Knights Templar.
Prosecutors have said they believe the network does not exist “in the way he describes it”.
Breivik insists it does, and said police had merely not done a good enough job in uncovering it.
Breivik said a lengthy jail term was a “ridiculous” and “pathetic punishment” and that a “just” punishment would be the death penalty.
“There are only two just and fair outcomes of this trial – acquittal or capital punishment. I consider 21 years of prison as a pathetic punishment,” he ssaid.
“If I had feared death, I would not have dared to carry out this operation,” he said.
Norway does not have the death penalty.
The trial against Breivik began Monday with two professional judges, as well as three lay judges — local politicians who are appointed for four-year terms and participate on an equal basis in deciding guilt and sentencing. The key issue to be resolved during the trial, expected to last 10 weeks, is Breivik’s mental state.
Many survivors and families of the victims are worried that Breivik may use the trial to promote his extremist ideology. In a statement Breivik published online before the attacks, he wrote that “patriotic resistance fighters” should use trials “as a platform to further our cause”.