Thursday, May 3, 2012

Norway massacre witnesses describe panic before Breivik's shooting spree

Anders-Behring-Breivik-on-008 Witnesses have described in chilling detail how Anders Behring Breivik tricked them into believing he was a police officer on the ferry to Utøya island, where he then killed 69 people.

Jon Olson, captain of the MS Thorbjørn ferry, told Oslo district court about his "angst and full panic" as he desperately tried to contact police about the attack on Utøya after his ferry docked there.

Breivik has admitted to a bombing in Oslo's government district that killed eight people and the subsequent shooting massacre at a Labour party youth camp on the island. He claims the attacks were necessary and that the victims had betrayed Norway by embracing immigration.

Olson, whose partner, Monica Boesei, was the second person to die in the shootings, said neither he nor his crew suspected the uniform-clad Breivik to be anything other than a police officer who had come to inform them about the Oslo attack. Breivik boarded the boat approximately two hours after setting off the bomb.

"I don't remember if I saw him shooting Monica, but I think I did," Olson calmly told the court about his partner, who had worked on the island as a manager for more than 20 years.

Breivik, dressed in a black suit and grey tie, listened impassively to witnesses and police giving evidence on the 11th day of the terror trial.

Investigating officers told the court how he shot his victims, beginning with a security official on the island and then 68 others, mostly the youth who were participating in the summer retreat.

Breivik's weapons included a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle, equipped with a bayonet, a pistol and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. He was also carrying a gas mask, a tourniquet, torch and three chocolate bars when he arrived on the island, police said. Breivik described the attacks in detail during earlier court sessions.

Since he has admitted his actions, Breivik's mental health is the key issue for the trial to resolve. If found guilty and sane, Breivik would face 21 years in prison, although he could be held longer if deemed a danger to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to compulsory psychiatric care.

Breivik said last week that being declared insane would be the worst thing that could happen to him because it would "delegitimise" his views.

The Guardian

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