Breivik: Mass Slaughter Was 'Self-Defense'

He smiles, salutes, and cries in court

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2012 6:39 AM CDT | Updated Apr 16, 2012 7:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – As his trial began in Oslo today, Anders Behring Breivik told the court that the slaughter of 77 people in Norway was a matter of ... self-defense. "I acknowledge the acts but do not plead guilty, and I claim I was doing it in self-defense," he said. Upon entering the courtroom, he smiled then held up his fist in a salute; he told the judge he doesn't "recognize the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism."

While the court detailed the killings of dozens, he appeared emotionless, CNN reports. He did, however, shed tears after the court showed an anti-immigration video he posted on the Internet on the day of the tragedy, the BBC reports. The question of Breivik's sanity remains open following conflicting exams; his punishment hinges on the decision. Meanwhile, "it's going to be 10 weeks of hell," says the parent of a victim, "to hear this man, to hear his explanation of why he did it, and how he did it."

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, right, who is facing terrorism and premeditated murder charges, reacts as a video presented by the prosecution is shown in court, in Oslo.
Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, right, who is facing terrorism and premeditated murder charges, reacts as a video presented by the prosecution is shown in court, in Oslo.   (AP Photo/Heiko Junge, Pool)
Anders Behring Breivik reacts as a video presented by the prosecution is shown in court, in Oslo.
Anders Behring Breivik reacts as a video presented by the prosecution is shown in court, in Oslo.   (AP Photo/Heiko Junge, Pool)
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