Survivors and relatives of the 77 people Anders Behring Breivik killed in Norway last July walked out of the courtroom Friday as he began making final remarks on the last day of his trial.
More than 30 people stood up and walked out of courtroom 250 at the Oslo district court when lead judge Wenche Arntzen said it was time for Breivik to speak.
“He has a right to talk. We have no duty to listen,” Christian Bjelland, the vice chair of the support group for survivors of the July 22 attacks and victims’ families, told the NTB news agency.
Breivik has asked the court to give him an hour to make final comments, in addition to the several days at the beginning of the 10-week trial dedicated to his testimony.
“Listening to him makes us sick, so many of us intend, when he is given a chance to talk, to calmly and quietly walk out,” Bjelland said before the protest action.
Prosecutors requested on Thursday that he be given psychiatric care instead of being sent to prison because of doubts over his sanity.
After the prosecutions closing arguments, Breivik made his nationalist salute.
Earlier on the last trial day, 11 months to the day after Breivik’s attacks, his main lawyer Geir Lippestad rejected a prosecution call for him to be shut in a psychiatric ward, insisting the confessed killer was sane and should be sent to prison or set free.
Shortly before Breivik took the stand, the Oslo district court had also heard heart-wrenching testimony from five people who lost a loved one in the July 22 attacks.
That day, Breivik first set off a car bomb outside government buildings in Oslo, killing eight people, before going to Utoeya island, northwest of the capital where he shot and killed another 69 people, mostly teenagers.
The victims, the youngest of whom had just celebrated her 14th birthday, had been attending a summer camp hosted by the governing Labour Party’s youth organization.
“To inherit your child’s cups and plates, is just crazy,” Kirsti Sofie Loevlie said, recalling how painful it had been to go through her 30-year-old daughter Hanne’s apartment after she was killed in the Oslo bombing.
“This is my trial. I am sure the court will give a correct verdict ... He will never get out again. I will not spend much time and effort on this man,” she said, prompting loud applause from the courtroom.