SKIEN, Norway (Reuters) - Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik wants to spread his ever more radical Nazi-style ideology, Norway’s attorney general said on Wednesday in defending Breivik’s near-isolation in jail after a court ruled the conditions breached his rights.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011 in Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity, still believed in a fascist revolution led by white supremacists, attorney general Fredrik Sejersted said.
Sejersted defended the restrictions that mean Breivik has no contact with other prisoners but is compensated with a three-room lock-up with a gym, newspapers, a playstation and TV.
He urged the three appeal court judges to overturn a ruling in April 2015 by a lower Oslo court that Breivik’s isolation from other prisoners violated a ban on “inhuman and degrading treatment” under the European Convention on Human Rights.
A psychiatrist’s assessment written in December 2016 said that Breivik “is more conspiratorial”, wanted contact in jail with other extreme right-wingers and to form a fascist party with radicals on the outside to spread his views, he said.
It also said that he was more convinced his ideas were right and that others’ were wrong.
Breivik writes hundreds of letters, and any deemed to risk inciting crimes are censored by the authorities.
“He still wants to inspire others,” Sejersted told the high-security appeal hearing in a temporary courtroom in Skien jail where Breivik is being held. “He still believes in a fascist revolution.”
Breivik, who made a Nazi salute at the start of the court hearing on Tuesday, sat grim-faced and often shook his head in disagreement as Sejersted spoke. He is serving Norway’s longest sentence - 21 years with the possibility of extension.
On July 22, 2011, Breivik killed eight people with a car bomb outside the prime minister’s office in Oslo and then shot 69 others on an island near the capital, many of them teenagers attending a youth camp of Norway’s then-ruling Labour Party.
Breivik’s lawyer Oeystein Storrvik said Breivik was kept in over-strict isolation and only allowed contact with lawyers and others approved by the authorities, such as guards and health workers.
“He has no one he can talk to in confidence and become friends with,” he said at the appeal that runs from Jan. 10 to Jan. 18 . “Everything is 100 percent monitored.”
Last year the Oslo court agreed that Breivik was wrongly kept in a “locked world” for between 22 and 23 hours a day, and only allowed out for exercise in a yard. It agreed with censorship of his letters.
Sejersted said Breivik received many letters, especially from women. Some sent him photos of themselves that he had put on his cell wall. One had even written him erotic fantasies.
Many survivors and relatives of the victims are trying to move on and ignore Breivik. A spokeswoman for their main support group said they were following the proceedings but had decided not to comment.
Editing by Louise Ireland