Survivors of Anders Behring Breivik’s Utøya Island massacre have continued to recount their harrowing tales at his trial in Oslo. This week, teenager Ingvild Leren Stensrud described how she hid under a dead girl’s body after being shot, playing dead until the right-wing extremist left the cafe building where he had killed 13 people.
The 17-year-old, who was one of many taking part in a youth camp for Norway’s ruling Labour Party, said she ran to hide in the building after hearing the first shots ring out. Miss Stensrud described how she allowed another girl’s dead body to stay on top of her in the hope that Breivik would believe she too was slain. “These were dreadful seconds”, she told the court.
Earlier in the week, another survivor Ina Rangoenes Libak also told how she was hiding behind a piano in the cafe when she was shot four times in the head, chest and jaw. Eventually running away down a corridor despite her massive injuries, she told the court she was thinking, “this is what it’s like to die; I’m dying.”
Other teenagers hid in a building known as the schoolhouse. Marta-Johanne Svendsen, who was shot in the arm, told the court how she was terrified as she could hear Breivik trying to get in. She said she heard “the worst screaming” coming from outside as the Norwegian indiscriminately gunned down her friends.
The 33-year-old killed 69 people, mainly teenagers, on the island shortly after setting a bomb at government offices in Oslo, killing eight. He admits committing the crimes on July 22 last year but denies criminal responsibility, claiming his targets were “legitimate” in his quest to free Norway and Europe from Muslim rule.
The court must decide whether Breivik is sane, after two psychiatric reports came to contradictory conclusions. The killer claims he is sane and says he should either be sentenced to death or acquitted.