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
Breivik: Mass Slaughter Was 'Self-Defense'
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)

(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."

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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." (Read more Anders Behring Breivik stories.)

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