Norwegian police are investigating claims by Anders Behring Breivik, who has admitted carrying out Friday’s twin attacks in Norway, that he has “two more cells” working with him. Breivik made the claim at his first court hearing since the bombing in Oslo and massacre at an island youth camp. Police have now revised down the island killings from 86 to 68 but increased the bomb death toll by one to eight. Anchor Lisa Mullins gets the latest from Annemarte Moland, a reporter with Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.
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Lisa Mullins: I am Lisa Mullins, and this is The World. [Congregation singing Hymn] Memorial Services were held in Oslo today for the victims of one of the worst mass murders in recent history. Seventy-six people were killed on Friday. Eight died when a bomb exploded outside the government headquarters in Oslo. Sixty-eight were killed during a shooting spree at an island where a political youth group was meeting. More than 100,000 Norwegians also gathered at the centre of the city today. They carried flowers; they hugged each other as they sang hymns. Earlier, Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, expressed the feelings of the nation.
Jens Stoltenberg: People in Norway are in deep grief. They are in a state of shock. But we also see a Norway which is very unified, where people are standing really together to comfort each other and to take care of each other.
Mullins: That’s Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. Meanwhile, Anders Behring Breivik told the court today that he had carried out the attacks. He pleaded not guilty though to charges of terrorism. Breivik also said that he was part of a network. Reporter Annemarte Moland of the Norway state broadcaster NRK says, police are looking into that.
Annemarte Moland: They are investigating what he has been telling. Also in this very large manifesto that he’s been writing, he says that there are more people that he is cooperating with. So the police is still not able to say if there is just him or more suspects.
Mullins: Okay. So right now there is no forensic evidence that would point to someone other than Breivik?
Moland: No, just the man who has been charged.
Mullins: There is also, we are hearing, a connection to Poland that’s being looked at. That he bought the chemicals he used for the bombing from Poland. What else do you know about that?
Moland: They have asked Polish police for help. The reason for that is because the suspect has bought chemicals from a man in Poland and he was listed as one of the people who have been buying chemicals from this man in Poland.
Mullins: Annemarte, when you were at the courthouse today, did you see Breivik, the suspect?
Moland: No. He was transported directly to the basement of the courthouse. We saw the cars that he came with; it was heavily armed, of course. There were quite a few young people outside the courthouse that tried to attack the car. It’s quite a hateful atmosphere around the courthouse today.
Mullins: A hateful atmosphere; and there is a reason. The police address this as well – why they wanted to keep him isolated and keep the public and the press away. What did they say about that?
Moland: The reason for keeping the public and the press away is that the police don’t want to give him the opportunity to spread his ideology and his views. They didn’t want to give him the opportunity. This is what he wanted. The police was interested in closing the doors at the hearing so that he wouldn’t be able to have any more influence.
Mullins: How did they know that he wanted a wider platform? What did he say?
Moland: Oh, this is part of his great manifesto. He says that he is preparing for the court process and that he is looking forward to it. He said today that he wanted to come to court dressed in some sort of uniform from this European anti-Islamic organization that he says he belongs to. This is what the police didn’t want to, to give him the opportunity to do in full public.
Mullins: When does the trial happen?
Moland: Oh, it’s going to be far away. I think, maybe in up to a year.
Mullins: Why does it take so long?
Moland: Because of the massive investigation that the police have to do. They have to collect all sorts of evidence – where he’s been hiding such evidence and who he’s been cooperating with. It’s a huge investigation.
Mullins: Breivik told the interrogators that he expects, fully, to spend the rest of his life in prison, but we know that there is a maximum jail term in Norway of 21 years. So, could that actually happen?
Moland: Yes, we have something in Norway that is actually stricter than 21 years in prison. I don’t know what the English name is, but it like a detention for life; it can turn into life. What happens is that every 5 years you have to be reviewed by a committee if you are sane enough to be released into society. So this means that he can actually spend the rest of his life in prison.
Mullins: That’s Annemarte Moland who reports for Norway state broadcaster NRK. She was in Oslo.
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