Image: Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik arrives at a court in Oslo
Jon Egg  /  Scanpix via AFP - Getty Images
Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik arrives at a court in Oslo on Monday. news services
updated 11/14/2011 8:32:17 AM ET 2011-11-14T13:32:17

The anti-Muslim militant who killed 77 people in attacks in Norway in July acknowledged carrying out the massacre but refused to plead guilty in his first public court appearance since the attacks.

Anders Behring Breivik, speaking Monday at a court just two blocks from where he detonated a huge home-made bomb before shooting 69 people at the ruling Labor Party's summer camp, also rejected the court's authority to hear his case.

"I am a military commander in the Norwegian resistance movement and Knights Templar Norway. Regarding the competence (of the court), I object to it because you received your mandate from organizations that support hate ideology (and) because it supports multiculturalism," Breivik told the court.

"I acknowledge the acts but I do not plead guilty," Breivik told the court.

The court extended his custody 12 more weeks until Feb. 6 but decided to gradually lift the restrictions on his media access, visitors and mail. Breivik is being held pending his trial on terror charges.

The killings on July 22 shattered a nation known for its open society, peace and relative prosperity, sparking a debate about immigration and security.

Breivik, speaking at a court picketed by a group of protesters holding a banner that read "No speakers' platform for fascists," attempted to address survivors and victims' relatives but the court denied his request.

The hearing was the first opportunity for the media, surviving victims and victims' relatives to hear Breivik, 32, speak publicly.

The hearing, required under Norwegian law to keep a suspect in prison before trial, was Breivik's fourth, and as expected, the court decided to keep him in custody. He will likely remain in prison until he goes to trial.

Story: Norway opens massacre island to media

Some 120 people were admitted to the courtroom, while hundreds of others squeezed into overflow rooms equipped with video links.

Breivik has been held in solitary confinement since his arrest after he surrendered to the police on the island.

Visits to island
In October, Norway opened Utoya to journalists for the first time since the massacre, with the ruling Labor Party vowing to ensure its idyllic retreat transcends tragedy.

More than 150 journalists and photographers took the five-minute trip to the island on the M/S Thorbjoern — the same ferry that carried Breivik on the rainy afternoon of his gun rampage.

In August, about 1,000 survivors and relatives traveled to Utoya, accompanied by police and medical staff, to face the painful memories of the shootings. A day earlier, there was a similar visit by 500 relatives of victims.

There were few outward signs of the horrific attack on the small, peaceful forested island, apart a few shattered windows and bullet holes in the cafe near the main building. Police had cleared away evidence for their investigation.

Adrian Pracon, a 21-year-old survivor, told The Associated Press that reopening the island, 25 miles northwest of the capital, Oslo, is important so that "people understand what happened there."

Story: 19 held in probe launched after Norway killings

Pracon recalled the horror of the day, as Breivik stalked the shore and shot campers who like him had plunged into the water in a desperate attempt to escape.

"I started thinking it is over now. I am going to die right now," he said.

Breivik turned his gun on Pracon and fired. A bullet hit his left shoulder, but he remained still, pretending to be dead.

Breivik eventually lay down his weapons and surrendered to police after the almost 80-minute shooting rampage, near the place where Pracon was shot.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Video: Norway killer reenacts bloodbath for police

  1. Transcript of: Norway killer reenacts bloodbath for police

    NATALIE MORALES, anchor: In the news this morning, in Norway , confessed killer Anders Breivik returned to the youth camp where he killed 69 people, re-enacting his bloodbath for police , shot by shot. NBC 's Michelle Kosinski has more now from London . Michelle , good morning.

    MICHELLE KOSINSKI reporting: Hi , Natalie . Anders Breivik has admitted to killing all of these people in and near Oslo , two different locations, though he has not admitted criminal guilt in court. And as he walked around this island and demonstrated how he killed kids as young as 14, police say still he shows no remorse. Security was extreme for this now unarmed man as police and Anders Breivik followed that same route he took one day last month when he admittedly killed 77 people. They dressed him in a bright bulletproof vest, now for his safety, attached him to a sort of leash and let him lead them for eight hours, explaining, even demonstrating, how he shot dozens of teenagers here at a youth camp.

    Mr. PAAL-FREDRIK HJORT KRABY (Police Prosecutor): There was no expression of regret for his actions.

    KOSINSKI: Just as he appears here, police say Breivik was calm, detailed, cooperative, gave new information. The attack itself, July 25th , lasted an hour before police could arrive and stop it. Hours before, they say Breivik set off a car bomb outside government offices in the capital, killing eight people. In a manifesto distributed just before these attacks, Breivik says he had planned this for years, motivated by strong anti-Muslim sentiment and religious views. Now back on that island, 77 deaths later, he appears to be telling everything. And police are facing questions and criticism now over how they handled the attacks. In fact, Breivik 's attorney just said that Breivik called police 10 times during the attacks to try to surrender but that eight of those calls

    were unanswered. Natalie: Michelle Kosinski reporting from London . Thank you, Michelle .



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