Anders Behring Breivik responds angrily to friends' testimony about his withdrawal from the world, and claims the prosecution is trying to depict him as a pathetic individual.
On Day 26 of the trial in court 250, former friends of Anders Behring Breivik described what they perceived as a retreat from the world in the years leading up to the murders on 22nd July 2011.
Four people testified how they witnessed Breivik change from an open and social person, albeit one with strange views, to a man who appeared to be so addicted to online computer games that he would play even while his friends were visiting.
The first of Breivik's former friends to testify had known him since primary school. The second had known him since secondary school, and had gone on to share a flat with him. A third described himself as Breivik's best friend. The fourth was the ex-girlfriend of one of these friends.
Breivik claimed in court that he knew his friends did not share his views, and that many of the stories he told them were cover stories, to protect them in the light of the actions he would go on to take.
The first witness had described Breivik undergoing plastic surgery on his nose, which he felt looked “Arab”, in order to look more Aryan-like.
Breivik denied the claim, demanding angrily of state prosecutor Svein Holden, “What is “Aryan”? Can the state prosecutor tell me that? I haven't used that word; it belongs to an ideology I don't support: National Socialism. I am a national conservative and anti-Nazi.”
He claimed that his friends did not know his nose was broken and that this was the main reason for the operation: “The reason my friends didn't realise this is that I generally didn't tell them.”
Breivik alleged that the prosecution was trying to ridicule him by portraying him as a socially isolated individual.
“A picture has been painted of an inactive and anti-social person. I have never been so social and hardworking as I was from 2007 and 2011, but I was social through the Internet. We met tens of times during that period, but I understand that some will want to tone that down in the light of what happened.”
Friends claimed that Breivik was addicted to the computer game ‘World of Warcraft’, and that he could not drag himself away even when he had visitors in his flat.
According to Breivik, testimony that he had been suffering depression, and that that had driven him to take a year off to play the game, did not match reality : “...it's a picture without nuance. It isn't mentioned that I held political office [in the youth wing of the rightwing Progress Party (FpU)], that I was financially successful and had earned one million kroner by the time I was 24.
“That makes it clear that my sabbatical year wasn't depression. You could compare it with going sailing for a year. I got a lot of pleasure from that year. I couldn't tell my friends that I was going to make a compendium [Breivik's so-called manifesto], followed by military action.
“That's why I used ‘World of Warcraft’ as a cover... it's what I told everyone I knew.”
He also objected strongly to claims that he had begun to use makeup. “That's wrong. I haven't been vain since 2006. I was before that, but I have never been feminine.” He claimed the powder witnesses had seen him wearing was a form of spot cover, and said that many men used this.
Breivik's mother was also due to testify about her son's behaviour, but has refused to take the stand and did not appear in court.