Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian mass murder behind one of the country’s worst massacres, gave a Nazi salute in court Tuesday during a parole hearing to decide if he should be released after serving 10 years behind bars.
The far-right extremist, who killed 77 people in Norway — mostly teenagers — during shocking car bomb and shooting attacks in Oslo and at a Labor Party youth camp on July 22, 2011, put up the white supremacist salute as he entered Telemark District Court.
Appearing before the court with a shaven head and black suit, the convicted killer carried signs that read, “Stop Your Genocide Against Our White Nations” and “Nazi-Civil-War.”
A judge later told him to put the signs away as prosecutors presented their case.
“I don’t want to see anything of the kind when the prosecutor speaks,” Judge Dag Bjørvik told Breivik, who was set to address the court later Tuesday.
The court is hearing Breivik’s case after prosecutors last year rejected his application for early release.
“Our position is that it is necessary with [continued] confinement to protect society,” prosecutor Hulda Karlsdottir told Reuters.
Breivik, who has legally changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen, is serving the maximum 21-year prison term allowed under Norwegian law, but that sentence can be extended indefinitely as long as he’s considered a danger to society.
Despite the magnitude of his crimes, he can apply for parole after serving 10 years.
The hearing marks the latest courtroom antics by Breivik, who also made a Nazi salute during a proceeding in 2016 in a bid to improve conditions inside the Norwegian prison where he’s being held.
Prosecutors argued Tuesday that he presented a danger to society.
“The main topic here is the danger associated with release,” Karlsdottir said.
Relatives of survivors had feared that the hearing would provide Breivik with a public platform to further expose his extremist views while experts have said he’s unlikely to be granted an early release.
“The only thing I am afraid of is if he has the opportunity to talk freely and convey his extreme views to people who have the same mindset,” Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, who runs a family and survivors support group, told Associated Press prior to the hearing.
In 2016, Breivik entered a courtroom during his criminal trial while putting up a clenched fist, portraying himself as a crusader trying to protect Norway and Europe from Muslim immigration. Four years earlier, he convicted on murder and terrorism charges and found criminally sane, rejecting prosecutors’ views that he was psychotic at the time.
Breivik has also said he regretted not killing more people during the massacre, apologizing to “militant nationalists” in 2012 while drawing attention to his hateful ideology. The killing was the worst act of violence in the country since World War II.
Tuesday’s hearing is expected to last a maximum of four days, with a decision expected about a week later. If Breivik’s request for release is denied, he can apply for a new parole hearing in one year.
With Post wires