OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian far-right leaders told the court trying Anders Behring Breivik on Tuesday the mass killer was right to fear his nation’s “planned annihilation” by Muslims, even if his method of combating it was wrong.
Breivik killed 77 people on July 22, first detonating a car bomb outside government headquarters and killing eight, then gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at the ruling Labour Party’s summer camp on Utoeya Island.
He argued his victims deserved to die because they supported Muslim immigration, which he said is adulterating pure Norwegian blood.
“The constitution has been cancelled, we’re at war now,” Tore Tvedt, the founder of far-right group Vigrid told the court.
Tvedt, 69, with greying hair and moustache, addressed the court in a firm voice.
“When they get their will, the Nordic race will be exterminated,” he said of Muslim immigration.
Breivik’s defence team called Tvedt and other far-right supporters to the stand to support their argument that Breivik is sane since his ideology is shared by others, even if their numbers are few.
“Take a look at society in Pakistan, look at the 57 Islamic states. People there live in a regime of terror and slavery, that’s what we had under national socialism and in the Soviet Union, people were trapped in a terror state,” Arne Tumyr, the head of an anti-Islam group told court.
Tall, thin and with a full head of hair, Tumyr, 79, spoke softly and insisted on testifying top the court standing up.
“If nothing is done, Norway will be taken over my Muslims,” he said.
Members of Islamic communities make up about 2 percent of Norway’s five million people, though their numbers were growing faster than those of Christians, Statistics Norway said.
All witnesses argued against Breivik’s violence but said Norway’s passivity toward the issue would eventually lead to a Muslim takeover.
The court’s main task in the 10-week trial is to decide whether Breivik is sane and whether he should be sent to jail or a psychiatric institution.
One court-appointed team of psychiatrists concluded he is psychotic, but a second team came to the opposite conclusion. The five judges hearing the case will take a final decision on his sanity at the end of the trial.
If deemed sane, Breivik faces a 21-year jail sentence which could be indefinitely extended for as long as he is considered dangerous.
Breivik has said he should either be executed or acquitted, calling the prospect of a prison sentence “pathetic”. If he were to be declared insane, he has said, that would be “worse than death”.
The court had hoped to deliver a verdict before the first anniversary of Breivik’s attack, but said a ruling may not come before August 24.
Editing by Jon Hemming