Norwegian terror and mass murder defendant Anders Behring Breivik has issued an apology to the July 22 victims who he calls “innocent bystanders”, but maintains that most of those killed were “legitimate targets”. The 33-year-old right-wing extremists issued the “full apology” while being questioned on Monday (April 23) about the dual attacks that left 77 people dead.
“There were some who were injured, and one person who was killed, who weren’t connected to the ministries or political parties, but were innocent bystanders,” Breivik testified. “To all of them … I want to issue a full apology. The goal wasn’t to hit innocent civilians as these people were. Therefore I want to direct a deep and full apology to them and their survivors.”
However, when asked if he would extend the apology to all the victims of his attacks, Breivik asserted again that he believes his actions were “gruesome but necessary”, adding that he targeted those responsible for making Norway a multi-cultural society.
Speaking to Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), victim representative Jon Hestnes said Breivik’s apology was “very surprising” but insincere. “I think it was pathetic,” he said. “What he said doesn’t help anybody.”
Breivik also told the court that he chose to make his own “sacrifice” as he lost all his friends and family because of what he did. “I sacrificed for that, I’ve lost everything,” he testified.
As prosecutors continued to press the Norwegian about each of the 69 people he killed at the Labour youth camp on Utøya Island, more distressing details emerged.
“I know it’s very common to pretend you’re dead in such a situation,” Breivik said, explaining that he repeatedly shot bodies on the ground to ensure they didn’t survive. He claimed to be aware of the suffering he had caused others, but said, “This was a little barbarity to prevent a bigger barbarity.”
Breivik was due to finish testifying on Monday (April 23), but it is thought that he may be called back to the stand this week to explain further about the bomb attack that killed eight at government buildings in Oslo.