Oslo: Survivors and relatives of those killed in a Norwegian mass-murder rampage wept and ridiculed the smiling attacker in court on Monday as he defended his acts by issuing a tirade against immigration.
Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people, provoked tears and laughter in the packed court as he gave a far-right salute and said he had carried out the massacre to prevent his country's cultural destruction.
"The way he talked, the way he smiled ... everything made me realise that no one has the same picture of the world as he does," said Helene Georgsen, 17, who survived Breivik's shooting spree.
She said the court appearance helped her realise that the anti-Islam fanatic "can't hurt me anymore”.
Breivik, clad in a black suit with silvery tie, told the court: "The attacks on the government headquarters were preventive attacks on traitors to the nation, people committing or planning to commit cultural destruction, including destruction of Norwegian culture and Norwegian ethnicity."
He has admitted detonating a fertiliser bomb that killed eight people at a government building in Oslo in July and hours later gunning down participants at an island summer camp for Labor Party youths, killing 69.
As the small Scandinavian country steels itself for a wrenching trial set to begin on April 16, Breivik used Monday's routine custody hearing to demand his release on the grounds that "people subjected to genocide" may legally defend themselves.
"We in the Norwegian movement will not sit and see that we are made a minority in our own country," he said.
District Judge Wenche Gjelsten extended his detention until the start of the trial.
"What a clown," said courtroom spectator Freddy Lie, 52, who had one daughter killed and another injured at the summer camp.
"The only thing he lacked was a red nose. To sit and look at us like he did, you can see that he is sick."
Breivik made his statements after the judge let him explain why he had pleaded not guilty despite acknowledging responsibility for the worst outbreak of violence in Norway since World War Two.
As he entered the courtroom the blond-haired killer raised his handcuffed arms after putting his fist on his heart in what his lawyer said was a salute to right-wing extremists. He had agreed in advance to be photographed.
Breivik looked repeatedly toward the audience of about 60 survivors and family members and 64 journalists. When he spoke from a sheaf of notes, his voice was calm.
Some in the courtroom wept at first, among them 18-year-old Anette Davidsen, a survivor of the island shootings.
"It was difficult to see him and to see him smile," she said. "I could see that he does not regret what he has done, and I have lost so many friends."
As Breivik delivered his message, she joined several others in laughing derisively.
"He was ridiculous," she said. "The way he spoke, the way he smiled. It was good to laugh at him."
In a manifesto posted online before the attacks, Breivik wrote that he was targeting "traitors" whose leftist views and softness on immigration had brought the country low.
Monday he said: "The ethnic Norwegians will be a minority in Oslo in the next 10 years. It is a fact. I represent Norwegian resistance."
Two court-appointed psychiatrists have declared Breivik psychotic, which ordinarily would mean he cannot be sentenced to prison. After a public outcry the judges in the case have asked for another evaluation by different experts.
Breivik called the initial report declaring him psychotic to be "ridiculous”, but he was cut off by the judge.
Breivik will stand trial, regardless of the psychiatrists' assessment.
If his judges agree at the end that he is psychotic he is likely to be placed in a locked psychiatric institution. If deemed fit to serve in prison, he would face up to 21 years upon conviction.
First Published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012, 11:54