Breivik Trial: A Platform For A “Crusader”? – OpEd


By Igor Siletsky

The defense lawyers for the Norwegian gunman Anders Breivik have filed a request for a third assessment of their client’s mental health. Breivik has been giving testimony in court for about a week and insists that he is sane. His shocking revelations have made the headlines worldwide.

Breivik has already undergone two forensic mental health assessments. The first panel pronounced him insane, while the second found him sane. These contradictory findings have served as a basis for his lawyers’ request for a third assessment.

On July 22nd 2011, Anders Breivik detonated a bomb outside government offices in Oslo which killed eight people. Shortly afterwards, he shot dead 69 young people at a youth camp on Utoya Island.

In courtroom, he demonstrates utmost nonchalance and defiantly tosses his hand in a Roman, or rather Nazi, greeting, once the handcuffs are taken off. When asked about his job, he told the judges that he was a writer conducting a “crusade” against multiculturalism and the “Muslim invasion of Europe”. He accused the judges of being biased in favor of the ruling party and demanded that he be tried in a military court, like a soldier. He showed emotion only once, during the screening of a propaganda video that he had made himself. The picture of devastation at the scene of the explosion in central Oslo left him unmoved.

Breivik readily spoke about the reasons that drove him to commit such a hideous crime. Even though the judges have decided to stop broadcasting his happy revelations, the trial has become a sort of a propaganda platform for the “Norwegian crusader”. In a way, he has managed to achieve his goal by focusing the attention of Norway, Europe and the rest of the world on his personality and his agenda.

Even though Norway has not yet recovered from the shock it experienced after last summer’s double terrorist attacks, the defendant is treated with an apparent courtesy in court. Yevgeny Voiko of the Center of Political Situations comments.

“This kind of treatment fits well into the concept of humanism which is commonly practiced by most representatives of the European political elite. Humanistic principles are also applied to those criminals who have killed dozens of people. Even though the blasts caused a public outcry all over the world, the Norwegian authorities have decided to adhere to these principles for the sake of the country’s good image.”

However, it’s not humanism but tolerance that we’re talking about at the moment. What Breivik actually rebelled against was tolerance. The Norwegian authorities turned a blind eye to the so-called “manifesto” which was posted on the Internet the day before the terrorist attacks out of tolerance. In that “manifesto” Breivik lashed out at the policy of multiculturalism and other “flaws” of modern society, including emancipation and homosexuality. The “crusader” believes that each civilization should exist separately from others. For this reason, he struck at the ruling left-wing forces which deem multiculturalism as one of the fundamental principles of their policies. He blamed the left-wingers for the oncoming “decline of Europe” where he believes in 70 years’ time, six out of ten residents will be Muslim.

According to analysts, the tragedy in Norway is but a symptom of certain processes that are currently taking place in Europe and may split the European society. Uncontrolled migration is causing a growing public discontent with people venting it out in the form of electoral preferences or by joining the radicals. The “Breivik case” will trigger off more violence unless European capitals do something about the problem now, Josef Linder of the International Association of Counterterrorism, says.

“Breivik represents a movement that will be gathering strength over the next few years, given the trends that are currently taking place in the EU. You may call him crazy or a neo-Nazi, but like other like-minded people, he knows where he stands and is pursuing his agenda. The new democratic values which are being instilled in the minds of EU nationals, have blurred the national customs and values which took thousands of years to form.”

The results of the third inquiry into Breivik’s mental health will be disclosed in June. The final verdict on the “Breivik case” is expected to be announced on the eve of the first anniversary of the Norway attacks. The mass killer himself says that 21 years in prison would be a “ridiculous sentence” for this kind of crime. He doesn’t insist, however, that the Norwegian society abandon its humanistic principles and introduce death penalty for his sake.


VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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