Mass murderer gives Nazi salute in court

Mass murderer Anders Breivik made a Nazi salute in a Norwegian court today as he claimed to be a victim of human rights abuses.

The right-wing extremist killed 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in 2011. He made the offending  gesture as soon as prison guards removed his handcuffs during the hearing.

The 37-year-old is suing the government, alleging it has violated the European Convention on Human Rights by holding him in isolation in Skien prison, about 60 miles south-west of Oslo.

Breivik set off a bomb in Oslo’s government district and then carried out a shooting massacre at the annual summer camp of the left-wing Labour Party’s youth organisation on the island of Utoya.

Kept apart from other inmates, he has likened his prison conditions to “torture”.

Breivik at his original trial

His lawyer, Oeystein Storrvik, told reporters ahead of the trial: “He wants contact with other people.”

He added: “One of his main things to do [in prison] was to study and he has stopped that now, and I feel that is a sign that isolation has been negative to his psychological health,”

Marius Emberland, lawyer for the state, said: “There are limits to his contacts with the outside world, which are of course strict.”

In letters sent to media from prison, Breivik said he has abandoned his armed struggle and now wants to create a fascist movement while serving his sentence.

The court hearing, which is being held in a gym inside the prison for security reasons, is expected to run until Friday.

Read more here.

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