The gunman on trial for killing 77 people in Norway last year described his killings as a “preventative” attack committed in order to avoid a wider civil war, adding that he would do it all over again.
In a lengthy address to the court Tuesday, Anders Behring Breivik said he was defending his country by setting off a car bomb in Oslo and committing a shooting massacre at a youth camp organized by the ruling Labor party on Utoya island, outside the capital, on July 22.
Eight people were killed in the bombing in Oslo, and 69 people were shot to death at the youth camp.
In his testimony, the 33-year-old Breivik compared the Labor party’s youth wing to the Hitler Youth saying the camp served for indoctrination.
He told the court that he “carried out the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack committed in Europe since the Second World War.”
Breivik’s testimony, which will be presented over the next five days, will not be broadcast out of concern that he would use it to spread propaganda for his cause. The trial is scheduled to last 10 weeks.
Tuesday’s proceedings were briefly delayed after one of the five judges hearing the case was dismissed for posting a message on a website the day after the killings suggesting Breivik should be given a death sentence.
Norway does not have the death penalty, but Breivik could face life in prison or in a mental facility.