Relatives of Norway victims to visit scene of massacre

Survivors, relatives and friends of victims began returning to Norway's Utoya island on Friday.
Survivors, relatives and friends of victims began returning to Norway's Utoya island on Friday.Gorm Kallestad / AP
/ Source: NBC, and news services

Survivors, relatives and friends of victims of Norway's worst-ever massacre began returning Friday to the island site of the crime, where authorities were going to show them the precise place where their children's bodies were found.

Some 1,500 people were expected on the island of Utoya Friday and Saturday, one month after Anders Behring Breivik fatally shot 69 people at a youth camp there.

Breivik has also admitted to killing eight people when he exploded a truck bomb outside government offices in Oslo.

In Oslo Friday, a court extended the isolation detention of Anders Behring Breivik, who has confessed to killing 77 people.

On the island, each family member was to be accompanied by a member of the Red Cross and police, the Norwegian health minister told NBC News’ Jay Gray.

The relatives of the victims will be shown the exact location where authorities found their children's bodies, NBC News reported. Teams of social workers and psychologists will also be on the island.

One of the three boats being used to ferry the families to the island was built by the military specifically for that purpose.

A heavy security presence remained in place in the waters around the island.

On Sunday, a national memorial service is due to be held at Oslo Spektrum arena, marking the end of a month of mourning in the Scandinavian country.

'Disturbing and provocative'On Friday, the Oslo District Court said Breivik must be kept in complete isolation by police partly for fear he would tamper with evidence and contact possible accomplices.

Breivik had appeared at a closed hearing under heavy police protection. His earlier request to wear a long black tuxedo to the session had been rejected by the Oslo District Court, which described it as "unnecessarily disturbing and provocative."

Breivik arrived at the hearing — his second court appearance since the July 22 attacks — in a black car under heavy escort. His lawyer Geir Lippestad said he was dressed in a dark suit and appeared calm, but showed no remorse.

"In his explanations he says these acts were gruesome, but necessary, and he hasn't changed his view on that," Lippestad said after the 30-minute hearing.

"He said it was tough to be in isolation. He didn't say that much more," Lippestad said. "It's natural to feel that it's tough to sit isolated in a small room."
Survivors were not allowed access to the court, but were represented by lawyers.

"It would have been good for my clients to see him in handcuffs and chains around his feet under police escort," said Brynjar Meling, a lawyer for one of the survivors.

Another lawyer representing the victims, Sigurd Klomsaet, said Breivik appeared to lack any humility.

"His comprehension for the pain and the hurt he has caused others is completely absent. Instead, he is fully occupied with his own situation," Klomsaet said.

Denies criminal guilt
The 32-year-old right-wing extremist denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe.

He has said the attacks were an attempt at cultural revolution, aimed at purging Europe of Muslims and punishing politicians that have embraced multiculturalism.

If found guilty on terrorism charges, Breivik could be sentenced to 21 years in prison. An alternative custody arrangement — if he is still considered a danger to the public — could keep him behind bars indefinitely.