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Norwegian mass killer Breivik appears before parole hearing

Anders Behring Breivik
Posted at 8:04 AM, Jan 18, 2022

SKIEN, Norway (AP) — Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right fanatic who killed 77 people in massacres in Norway in 2011, appeared at a parole hearing Tuesday, seemingly more focused on spreading white supremacist propaganda than gaining an improbable early release from prison.

The far-right fanatic, now 42, killed 77 people in massacres in Norway. It was July 22, 2011, when, after months of meticulous preparations, Breivik set off a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people and wounding dozens. He then drove to the island of Utøya, where he opened fire on the annual summer camp of the left-wing Labor Party’s youth wing. Sixty-nine people there were killed, most of them teenagers, before Breivik surrendered to police.

He has showed no remorse since the slaying, and families of victims and survivors fear he will grandstand his extreme views during the hearing, which experts say is unlikely to deliver him an early release.

In 2012, Breivik was handed the maximum 21-year sentence with a clause — rarely used in the Norwegian justice system — that he can be held indefinitely if he is still considered a danger to society. Under Norwegian law, Breivik is eligible to seek parole after serving the first 10 years of his sentence.

Randi Rosenqvist, the psychiatrist who has followed up Breivik since his 2012 jailing, says “I can say that I do not detect great changes in Breivik’s functioning,” since his criminal trial when he bragged about the scale of his slaughter, or his 2016 human rights case, when he raised his hand in a Nazi salute.

“In principle and practice someone seeking parole would have to show remorse, and to show that they understand why such acts cannot be repeated,” she said.

She will give evidence at his hearing and submit the psychiatric report, which is typically crucial if criminals are to demonstrate they are no longer dangerous.

“That is unlikely to happen,” said Berit Johnsen, research professor at University College of Norwegian Correctional Service. “I think it is quite obvious that there still is a high risk that he will commit new crimes if he is released.”

Breivik, who legally changed his name to Fjotolf Hansen in 2017, walked into a prison gymnasium-turned-courtroom Tuesday with white supremacist messages pinned to his blazer and his bag.

He held up a sign with the same message and made Nazi salutes.

The hearing is due to last three days, but the verdict will not be announced for several weeks. He is likely to remain behind bars since he has shown no remorse.