Norway killer to stay in isolation

Posted at 08/20/11 12:21 AM

OSLO/UTVIKA, Norway - Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik will remain in solitary confinement for the next four weeks, a judge ordered on Friday.

Breivik has admitted killing 77 people on July 22 -- eight in a bombing in Oslo that destroyed the Norwegian government's headquarters and 69 gunned down on a nearby island.

"The accused describes his isolation as boring and monotonous and as a sadistic method of torture," judge Hugo Abelseth told a news conference at the Oslo court house.

He said Breivik, 32, would stay isolated in prison until Sept. 19 as there was a danger evidence could be tampered with.

Police have not ruled out the possibility of accomplices to the crime and are keen to prevent Breivik from communicating with the outside world.

A lawyer representing some of the victims' relatives in court for what was Breivik's second appearance said after the closed-door session Breivik had displayed no remorse.

"He showed no understanding of the pain and suffering he has caused," attorney Sigurd Klomset told reporters.

His lawyer said Breivik had argued against an extension of his isolation, but court rules otherwise prevented lawyers from commenting on the proceedings.

Under Norwegian rules, Breivik will likely remain in prison until he goes to trial in a year, but the conditions under which he is held may at some point be relaxed.

The killer had asked to wear white tie and tails at the hearing to "show he was taking court proceedings seriously", according to court documents. His request was denied as this would be "unnecessarily disturbing and offensive."

Return to island

Some 40 km (25 miles) away, about 500 relatives of his victims gathered on the island of Utoeya to mourn and to hear from police and representatives of the Red Cross exactly where and how they died.

Arriving in the rain on a purpose-built pontoon vessel, family and close friends slowly dispersed across the island.

On Saturday, about 1,000 people are expected to visit the island when survivors and their relatives go back ahead of a national day of remembrance on Sunday.

"Going to the island helps them make sense of what happened, it helps to make it real, because up until then it can feel very unreal," psychologist Atle Dyregrov, who has organised much of the professional help for victims and relatives, told Reuters.

"Seeing the facts is often less scary than the fantasies they have. The fantasy can eat you inside, it helps to see what it looks like."

Those killed at Utoeya were mostly teenagers attending a youth camp of the ruling Labour Party.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said he had been compelled to show a different version of himself after the killings.

"For me it's not a question of whether I have changed, but other parts of my personality have been needed," he told reporters. "I had to show more feeling and an important thing has been just to be close to the victims and their families."

Police released the full transcript on Thursday of two phone calls Breivik made to police while he was shooting on Utoeya.

In the first, he identifies himself as a "commander" from the "Norwegian anti-communist resistance movement" and expressed his wish to "surrender", before the conversation is interrupted.

In the second, Breivik says he wishes to surrender now that he has "completed his operation".

Police tried to call Breivik back but he did not answer the phone. At the same time concerned relatives and people on Utoeya were making frantic calls to police to say they were being shot at. Police told them to stay calm and play dead.

Norwegian police have been criticized for the way they responded to the shooting.