Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik to seek parole as victims’ families fear ‘grandstanding’

·2-min read
Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik

Norwegian mass killer and domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik will attempt to persuade a court to grant him parole in a hearing on Tuesday.

Breivik, who killed 77 people in a bomb and shooting massacre in 2011, will claim he is no longer a danger to society and should be released after serving 10 years of his 21-year sentence.

The far-right terrorist has shown no remorse for the cold-blooded killings, and families of the victims fear he will grandstand about his views during the hearing, which is unlikely to see him released.

The hearing is due to last three days, but the verdict will not be announced for several weeks.

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.

This clause means he can demand a parole hearing after 10 years.

Lisbeth Kristine Royneland, who heads a family and survivors support group, fears giving Breivik a platform could inspire like-minded extremists.

"I think he is doing this as a way of getting attention,” she said.

“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”.

Oystein Storrvik, Breivik's defence lawyer, confirmed that Breivik will call the Swedish neo-Nazi Per Oberg to speak in his defence and made it clear that nobody should expect contrition.

"According to the law there is no obligation that you have to be remorseful," said Storrvik. "So it is not a legal main point. Absolutely the legal problem is whether he is dangerous."

Breivik has form for grandstanding in court hearings. During his 2012 trial, he entered the courtroom daily flashing a closed fist salute, and telling grieving parents that he wished he had killed more.

In 2016, he sued the government, claiming breaches of his human rights.

He made a Nazi salute during the case which he initially won, but was overturned by higher courts in 2017.

Breivik was jailed after setting off a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people, before driving to the island of Utoya, where he opened fire.

He killed a further 69 people there, many of them teenagers.

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