On day 22 in the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the court heard how Viljar Robert Christian Hanssen (18) had saved his younger brother's life, though he himself was gravely wounded.
Viljar Robert Christian Hanssen was an active member of Labour Party Youth (AUF). He survived bullet wounds to the head, arm, hand, shoulder and thigh, and only came out of hospital in March of this year. He suffered nerve damage from the attack, had three fingers amputated, and suffered partial sight loss.
“I'm completely blind in one eye,” he told the court. “It's pretty practical, because I can avoid looking over there.” He smiled, and nodded to where Breivik was sitting.
Hanssen and his 14-year-old brother were sitting at the campsite when they heard someone shout, “We have to run now. Run!” He picked up his brother and ran.
They took shelter by rock wall on the west side of Utøya. Hanssen described hearing shots coming ever nearer. “Then I was hit. After that, I remember shouting to my little brother to get away from there. I didn't want him to see what had happened to me,” he told the court.
Breivik shot Hanssen again after Hanssen's brother had left the scene. “There's a ringing in my right ear and somehow I end up at the water's edge. I think that was the last shot to hit me,” he said in his testimony.
Hanssen described how he has suffered from anxiety in his daily life since the attack. “I'm fine on Svalbard or in Tromsø, but I've felt unsafe in Oslo. It's something I work on every day... I've always loved riding my scooter and skiing, and speed is fun. I can't do that sort of thing anymore, and to begin with it was hard to know that everything had changed.”
At the same time, he said, he considers himself lucky: “I have many good friends and a great family. [My brother] is fine. He's done really well, does all the things he used to do.”
The court also heard testimony from four other AUF members who survived the shootings on Utøya.
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