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Crush of media at mass killer's trial in Norway

Associated Press Published: April 16, 2012

NRK general director Hans-Tore Bjerkaas said the TV channel has worked hard to balance the need for openness and impartiality with consideration for the survivors and relatives of the victims.

As a result, it decided to remove the sound from the most detailed court descriptions of Breivik's killings and didn't show his propaganda video, which was shown in the courtroom on Monday.

But, Bjerkaas said, NRK will report Breivik's testimony in print on its website.

"A core issue during the trial will be that of Breivik's accountability. It would therefore be wrong of NRK to limit the coverage of how he appears and explains himself," Bjerkaas wrote in a statement on the broadcaster's website.

A similar argument was put forward by Lippestad, who said his client's testimony is maybe the most important evidence the court needs to decide whether he is sane or not.

Lippestad said he understands that survivors and victims' relatives are concerned that Breivik will use the trial as a pulpit.

"On other hand — and this is important — he has a right to explain himself, a fundamental right under Norwegian law and a human right," he said.

Lippestad said Breivik has prepared a document to read in court Tuesday that will take about 30 minutes.

The 33-year-old killer has admitted to the shootings and the bombing but rejects criminal guilt for the actions because he says he was defending Norway from immigration. He wrote in his manifesto that "patriotic resistance fighters" should use trials "as a platform to further our cause."

"The goal for the European resistance fighter is not to win the trial but to present all available evidence ... in order to help generate a maximum amount of sympathizers and supporters," he wrote before the rampage.