By Alister Doyle
SKIEN, Norway (Reuters) – Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is still a threat and ever more convinced by his Nazi-style ideology, Norway’s attorney general said on Wednesday in defending Breivik’s near-isolation in jail after a court ruled the conditions breached his rights.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in 2011 in the Nordic nation’s worst peacetime atrocity, still believed in a fascist revolution led by white supremacists, attorney general Fredrik Sejersted said.
He urged the three appeal court judges to overturn a ruling in April 2015 by a lower Oslo court that Breivik’s isolation from other prisoners violated a ban on “inhuman and degrading treatment” under the European Convention on Human Rights.
A psychiatrist’s assessment written in December 2016 said that Breivik “is more conspiratorial”, wanted contact in jail with other extreme right-wingers and to form a fascist party with radicals on the outside.
It also said that he was more convinced his ideas were right and that others’ were wrong.
“He still wants to inspire others,” Sejersted told the high-security appeal hearing in a converted gym in Skien jail where Breivik is being held. “He still believes in a fascist revolution.”
Breivik sat grim-faced and often shook his head in disagreement as Sejersted spoke. He is serving Norway’s longest sentence – 21 years with the possibility of extension.
On July 22, 2011, Breivik killed eight people with a car bomb outside the prime minister’s office in Oslo and then gunned down 69 others on an island near the capital, many of them teenagers attending a youth camp of Norway’s then-ruling Labour Party.
Sejersted defended restrictions on Breivik that mean he has no contact with other prisoners but is compensated with a special three-room cell with a training room, newspapers, a playstation and television.
Last year the Oslo court ruled that he was wrongly kept in a “locked world” for 22-23 hours a day, allowed out for exercise in a yard. He has no contact with others except for professionals such as guards, health personnel and his lawyers.
Sejersted said the use of handcuffs and strip searches had been sharply reduced from the early years. Breivik made a flat-handed Nazi-style salute at the start of the hearing on Tuesday, which prompted a rebuke from the judge.
Many survivors and relatives of the victims are trying to move on and ignore Breivik. A spokeswoman for their main support group said they were following the proceedings but had decided not to comment.
(Reporting By Alister Doyle; Editing by Alistair Scrutton and Richard Lough)