UPDATED: Today’s 32nd day of the trial saw Anders Behring Breivik’s characteristically impassive display of emotion turn to irritation during proceedings.
The first witness was Aftenposten chief editor Hilde Haugsgjerd who was asked by defence counsel Geir Lippestad to describe the newspaper’s expression of racist views.
Haugsgjerd stated that with the paper edition they needed to consider whether the contributions were in breach of racism laws, and that if anyone did have anti-Muslim or racist views they tended to moderate themselves for the newspaper.
She told the court that after the attacks by Breivik in July, the newspaper had considered giving more room to right-wing views.
When discussing the newspaper’s online version Haugsgjerd said that due to Breivik the debate forum on their website is now only open for articles that have been published.
After a few comments from Breivik regarding the newspaper’s stance on Islamisation and its support of “cultural maxism”, Haugsgjerd left the witness stand.
The second witness of the day was Jan Simonsen who writes a blog called Free Expression. He is a former member of the Progress Party (FrP) but was expelled in 2001.
Simonsen claimed that his website receives 1,000 hits a day and is dedicated to human rights.
He informed the court that he considers Breivik un-Norwegian as taking the lives of others was nothing to do with free expression.
Simonsen explained he gets comments from people expressing support for Breivik as the comments section of his website is unmoderated,
He believes that the media has aimed to damage the election results for the Progress Party, talking about VG and Dagbladet when discussing this view.
The prosecution chose not to ask Simonsen any questions before he was allowed to leave the stand.
Labour Party (Ap) secretary Raymond Johansen was today’s the third witness. He described what he witnessed when he arrived at Utøya after the attacks, telling the court that there was chaos and despair.
Geir Lippestad spoke to Johansen, saying that Breivik has given the immigration and integration policy as part of the reason as to why he carried out his actions.
Johansen responded by telling the court that the trial was not about policies but about a terrorist who killed 77 people and injured many others.
He stated that there were five ways of entering Norway: asylum, establishing or reuniting families, experts, transfer refugees, and working immigration. He says that there is a belief that diversity is good for Norway.
Lippestad asked Johansen how Labour thinks the topic of extreme Islam should be debated. Johansen says that he does not feel that there was a lack of discussion.
Breivik expressed that he felt that Johansen had not covered the areas that he felt were important to the case, saying that he believed the Party to have declared war against the Norwegian people and wanted answers.
The judge asked Breivik to keep to comments based on what the witness had said and that he was not allowed to question the witnesses.
There was also a lot of discussion in court today about Breivik playing the game World of Warcraft.
The court was told how Breivik began playing in 2006 using the name Andersnordic but that he then later changed his name to Conservatism. He refused to answer the prosecutions questions on why he changed his name.
Clearly irritated, he also turned off his microphone during questioning by state prosecutor Svein Holden and rejected answering anything further about the game.
The last witness of the day was a 26-year-old student who played against Breivik in World of Warcraft (WoW). The person wished for both this individual’s names to remain unpublished.
The witness told the court that Breivik could play the game for almost equally the same length of time, which at some points could reach 16 hours a day.
The prosecution asked the witness whether a meeting with Breivik outside the game ever took place as they lived nearby. The witness replied this was not the case and that it was unusual for players to meet outside the world of the game.
Today’s court session was adjourned after an inconclusive legal debate about whether to suspend psychiatrist Per Olav Næss’ oath of confidentiality following a written request from Breivik’s mother.
Mr Næss, who had observed Breivik as a child, is due to testify on Friday, when a decision as to a closed or open court will be taken regarding this oath.
The trial will continue, Friday, following the recess.
Like this article? Show your appreciation.
Support the Foreigner
If you enjoyed this article, please consider supporting the Foreigner by donating using Pay Pal or credit/debit card.