Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing extremist who admitted to killing 77 people in Norway on July 22 last year, said in court today that he deserved a medal of honor, according to the Associated Press.
In his second set of public comments since the massacre in July 2011, Breivik said, “The attacks on the government headquarters were preventive attacks on people committing cultural destruction of Norwegian culture and Norwegian ethnicity,” reported Reuters.
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Upon entering the courtroom in handcuffs, Breivik raised his arm in a gesture, which his attorney Geir Lippestad said was “a type of right-wing extremist salute,” according to Bloomberg.
Breivik, 32, admitted to planting the bomb that killed eight people in Oslo, as well as to the shooting spree that killed 69 at an island camp for the youth of the Labor Party. He said he acknowledged those acts but did not plead guilty, as his trial is set to begin on April 16, said Reuters.
Breivik demanded to be set free and told the courtroom that he was acting to defend his people, his culture and his religion. He said, “We, the Norwegian resistance movement, will not just stand by and watch while we are made a minority in our own country," according to the AFP. He also said he should receive a medal of bravery for the shootings.
Victims and survivors of the shootings wept and laughed in derision during the proceedings, according to Reuters. Helene Georgsen, 17, one of the survivors present in the courtroom said, "The way he talked, the way he smiled ... everything made me realize that no one has the same picture of the world as he does."
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Breivik's gesture can be seen in this video of him entering the court room, courtesy of The Guardian: