Breivik has denied murdering his victims claiming he killed them for ideological reasons
6:49pm UK, Thursday May 24, 2012
Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has told his trial that he finds testimonies from survivors of his gun rampage “moving” – a statement that sent gasps of surprise through the courtroom.
The Norwegian gunman, who admitted killing 77 people in the massacre last year, also said he felt “mentally damaged” after listening to the harrowing stories of the teenagers who survived his attacks.
On day 24 of his trial in Oslo, Breivik also announced he would not appeal if he was declared of “sound mind”.
At the end of day Breivik asked judge Wenche Arntzen if he could comment on claims that he has no emotions at all.
Breivik admitted killing 69 people on Utoya island
He said he wanted to correct this impression, telling the court he expended a lot of energy keeping his emotions back and that he was very tired when he returned to his prison cell.
“My aim is to keep my emotions back. It is worth noting that I spend a lot of energy doing that,” he said.
“I [find] this experience moving, but I am good at hiding it.”
It was the first time Breivik had expressed any emotion since he cried when his own anti-Islam propaganda video was played on the first day of the trial.
Breivik indicated that listening to the day’s harrowing survivor stories was especially difficult.
One of the testimonies came from wheelchair-bound Mohamad Hadi Hamed, 21.
He had a foot and an arm amputated after he was shot several times by Breivik.
He said he remained haunted by the sound of death: “I can still hear a ‘gurgle’ sound in my head – the sound of someone dying.
“I heard it that day.”
Mr Hamed said Breivik claimed to be a policeman, but then started shooting.
Breivik has pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming he acted in self-defence
“The first shot hit my left arm. Then left leg,” he said.
“My arms and legs became very warm, then cold, then numb.”
Mr Hamed then described how Breivik later came back and shot him a third time.
“I then held my breath to pretend I was dead. Then he (Breivik) left the area,” he said.
Iraqi-born Mr Hamed told the court: “I shouted in Arabic thinking for a moment I was in Iraq. This could not happen in Norway.”
Another survivor, Cecilie Herlovsen, 17, who was shot three times at the southern tip of Utoya, also gave evidence.
She turned up in court wearing a short-sleeved dress, displaying her injured shoulder and arm missing below the elbow.
She spoke in a soft and nervous voice, telling the court her best friend died in the massacre.
Breivik also sent a very clear message to the five judges, saying: “I see no reason to appeal my verdict should I be declared of ‘sound mind’”.
It has become very important to Breivik that he be declared sane after the first psychiatric report said he is clearly psychotic, and therefore criminally insane.
A second report came to the opposite conclusion.
“My aim was to communicate my ideology,” Breivik said, clearly happy he had achieved this.
Breivik knows his ideology will become meaningless should he be declared insane.
He is therefore fighting for his sanity despite knowing that this will send him to a high security prison as opposed to a mental health hospital.
Breivik has admitted responsibility for the bomb blast that killed eight people in the Norwegian capital and shooting dead 69 people on Utoya island last summer.
But he has pleaded not guilty to murder, claiming he acted in self-defence.
:: Read Trygve Sørvaag’s tweets from the courtroom: