Norway’s self confessed mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik goes on trial today in Oslo. The facts of the case – that he killed 77 people – are not at issue.
However, the court must rule on whether he is criminally guilty and also judge his sanity.
Family members of the victims and many of those who survived the twin attacks last July fear the right-wing extremist will use the proceedings to spread his ideology.
Trond Blattmann of the July 22 Support Group warned: “ I think it is going to be ten weeks of hell because of what Breivik will say and his explanation of why he did it and of course that is something which is going to be a great challenge for us.”
One family who will be in court are the Linakers. Daughter Hanne escaped but her brother Gunnar was shot by Breivik. Despite their grief the family has called for the gunman to be treated with dignity.
Gunnar’s mother, Inger Linaker said of the man who had killed her son: “He is a human being for whom, I think things have gone wrong – he should be treated as a human being.”
Breivik has proudly admitted killing eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo last year. He then went on to gun down 69 others, mostly teenagers, at an island summer camp of the ruling Labour party.
Not only is he expected to explain his actions but his lawyer says Breivik regrets that he did not go further.