Mass-killer's testimony will not be broadcast, court rules
Facing trial ... Anders Behring Breivik Photo: Reuters
Norway's mass-killer Anders Behring Breivik will be forbidden from reading in court a new political manifesto he wrote in prison, and his testimony will not be broadcast live like the rest of his trial, judges have ruled.
Breivik's trial over the killing of 77 people in related attacks last July was due to begin early tonight, AEST, with authorities concerned that he be restrained from using the hearing as a soap-box to air his extreme right-wing views.
Earlier this month a pre-trial interview that he was negotiating with US news service CNN was shelved after the talks were revealed in Norwegian media.
The trial will begin with opening addresses by lawyers but then Breivik will have five days in which to give his own evidence. He has confessed to the killings but claims he is not guilty on the grounds of self-defence.
He told police the attacks on government buildings in Oslo and on a Labour Party youth camp on Utoya Island were payback to Norway's left wing for having allowed immigration.
Breivik's original manifesto, posted on the internet just before his assaults, attacked what he called "the Islamicisation" of Europe.
His chief defence lawyer, Geir Lippestad, has warned Norwegians to brace themselves for Breivik's testimony because his only regret was that he did not kill more people.
"He will not only defend [what he did] but will also lament, I think, not going further."
The mental state of Breivik, 33, will be a central question for the judges. An initial assessment by two psychiatrists concluded he had paranoid schizophrenia, which would mean he was not legally responsible for his crimes. Breivik, who denies he is insane, called this diagnosis "the ultimate humiliation".
A new assessment delivered last week by a second team of doctors diagnosed him instead as having narcissistic personality disorder. This means he has grandiose ideas of his own importance and a sense that he is special, and that he lacks empathy - but that he is sane.
The Oslo District Court has built a special room that can seat 200 to hold the trial. Spectators will include some of the 800 international journalists accredited to cover the proceedings as well as survivors and relatives of victims.
Thick glass partitions will separate victims and families from Breivik, and police are expected to seal off streets around the court building.
Breivik told police he was part of a larger organisation modelled after medieval crusaders the Knights Templar but police believe he acted alone.
The trial is expected to last for 10 weeks.
- with Telegraph, London