Breivik trial Day 25: Survivor defiant to perpetrator / News / The Foreigner

Breivik trial Day 25: Survivor defiant to perpetrator. Oslo District Court heard dramatic evidence from Adrian Pracon (22) on day 25 of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik. Pracon, whose life Breivik spared during his killing spree, was one of the last people to be shot on the island. He had wondered for a long time why Breivik had not finished him off with a “follow-up shot”, as he had with many of his other victims. It was only when Breivik gave testimony in April, and described thinking that Pracon looked “like a right-wing person” that the survivor got a partial answer to his question.

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Breivik trial Day 25: Survivor defiant to perpetrator

Published on Sunday, 27th May, 2012 at 07:52 under the news category, by Ben McPherson.

Oslo District Court heard dramatic evidence from Adrian Pracon (22) on day 25 of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik.

Flowers outside Oslo District Courthouse
Flowers outside Oslo District Courthouse
Photo: ©2012 Geetika Nautiyal/The Foreigner


Pracon, whose life Breivik spared during his killing spree, was one of the last people to be shot on the island. He had wondered for a long time why Breivik had not finished him off with a “follow-up shot”, as he had with many of his other victims.

It was only when Breivik gave testimony in April, and described thinking that Pracon looked “like a right-wing person” that the survivor got a partial answer to his question.

Pracon heard the first shots to be fired on Utøya, but did not understand that his life was in danger: “It sounded like a hammer against a steel plate, so I didn't pay it any mind. Utøya's often noisy,” he told the court.

Then he saw a group of people running towards the café building, shouting, “run”. He explained that he stayed where he was. “I suppose curiosity got the better of me. I saw him [Breivik] moving towards the café building, and just before the steps by the little hall a girl walks towards him.”

“As they meet the perpetrator lifts his pistol and begins shooting at her. She falls to the ground. I stood watching; I couldn't believe what I'd seen. There was something about her movements that were a bit too real. Then we began to run,” Pracon said.

As he and others ran towards the woods, they could hear bullets overhead. They emerged from the woods near the water's edge by the southern tip of the Island.

“I could already see people standing at the southern tip, starting to undress. It felt as if I was amongst the last people to get there. The panic made me take a bad decision, and I jumped in with my clothes on. The swim was too demanding, and after 50 to 100 metres I had to turn round,” he told the court.

Pracon remembers Breivik emerging from the woods a few metres from him as he reached the shore. “He was walking with determination, and stood on a rock by the water's edge. He stood there and looked out over the water, before he began to shout, 'I'm going to kill you all.'”

“That was the only time I saw any sign of emotion, because he went red and his voice almost broke as he was screaming.” Then Breivik began shooting at the people who had started swimming.

“I shout at him, 'no, don't shoot,'” he recounted. “He lifts the rifle to his cheek and aims. He stayed there, aiming, and it seemed as if he was vacillating between his head and his heart. I was convinced I was going to die. When it seemed he was about to fire, he turned on his heels without a word and disappeared towards the school building.”

Breivik returned, however. A group of around 20 young people appeared, running for their lives. There were shots and screams. Pracon lay where he was in his wet clothes and played dead. When he opened his eyes, he could see Breivik's boots in front of him.

“Suddenly I felt an uncomfortably warm feeling on the ride side of my face and head [...] it felt as if something had given me a powerful shove,” he told the court.

Pracon had been shot in the shoulder. He tried to help other people when Breivik had left the scene and he realised he himself was still alive, but the sight of so many dead bodies had left him paralysed with fear.

When the police finally got there, they told him that they had arrested one person, and asked if there were more perpetrators on the island. “No”, he told them, “not that I can recall.”

Adrian Pracon has had a lot on his mind in the days since Breivik's testimony about why he did not shoot when they first met face to face: “It's almost as if I've been studying what he said, that I looked right-wing, that he saw himself in me. It was a shock for me. I am nothing to do with what he represents.”

Pracon's parting message to Breivik was one of defiance.

"I believe that Breivik made a mistake in sparing me, looking at things from his perspective. Now I can see the importance of politics. The Labour Party and Labour Party Youth are much closer to my heart, and this is something I'm going to continue doing," he declared.

The trial resumes on Tuesday, with testimony from Breivik’s friends. His mother, Wenche, will not be present, but statements may be read.



Published on Sunday, 27th May, 2012 at 07:52 under the news category, by Ben McPherson.

This post has the following tags: andersbehringbreivik, breiviktrialoslo, oslodistrictcourt, utoeyashootings, utoya.





  
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