OSLO (Reuters) - Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik understands he is seen as a “demon” but said last month’s massacre was “necessary” when police took him to the scene, his lawyer said Monday.
Breivik, 32, has confessed to the bomb and gun attacks which killed 77 people on July 22, 69 of them at a Labor Party youth summer camp on Utoeya island. Police escorted him there on Saturday to try to reconstruct how the bloodshed happened.
“Breivik understands that people think of him as a demon,” his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, told the daily Dagbladet.
But, he added, the self-styled “Crusader” repeated to himself out loud on the journey to the island with police: “It was necessary, it was necessary.”
It was sentiment, Lippestad said, which his client had also felt when heading to Utoeya three weeks ago, heavily armed: “He has said that when he took the boat over he thought: ‘I give up, I am not going to do this’.
“But then he thought that it was necessary to change Europe and Norway, as he says, and he went through with it.”
Breivik, in a document posted on the Internet, criticized Norway’s ruling Labor party for supporting Muslim immigration and multiculturalism.
Police have said that the attacker expressed no regret for the killings during the reconstruction at the weekend.
A court will hear arguments Friday about Breivik’s conditions of detention. The session, which police want heard behind closed doors, is set for 1 p.m. (1100 GMT) Friday. It is as yet unclear whether Breivik, who appeared at a closed-door custody hearing three days after the killings, will attend.
The court said police would ask for an extension of terms allowing them to hold Breivik in isolation. A four-week limit on solitary confinement in Norway is due to expire Monday, but the court may grant an extension.
Police say the isolation conditions are a help to their efforts to find out just what happened. Authorities are also concerned for order in the prison and for Breivik’s own safety.
Editing by Alastair Macdonald