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Great fear as Norwegian mass murderer seeks parole

STAVANGER, Norway (AP) - The Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik goes to court on Tuesday after 10 years behind bars and claims that he is no longer a danger to society and is trying to get an early release from his 21-year sentence.

The far-right terrorist has shown no remorse since killing 77 people in a bomb and gun massacre in 2011, and families of victims and survivors fear he will stand up for his extreme views during the hearing, as experts say it is unlikely that he will give him an early release.

Randi Rosenqvist, the psychiatrist who has followed up on Breivik since his imprisonment in 2012, says: "I can say that I do not notice major changes in Breivik's behavior," since his criminal case, when he boasted about the extent of his slaughter or his human in 2016. rights case when he held out his hand in a Nazi salute.

"In principle and practice, anyone seeking parole would have to show remorse and show that they understand why such actions cannot be repeated," she said.

She will give an explanation at his hearing and give the psychiatric report, which is typically crucial if criminals are to prove they are no longer dangerous.

"It hardly happens," says Berit Johnsen, research professor at the Danish Prison and Probation Service's University College. "I think it's pretty obvious that there's still a high risk he's going to commit new crimes if he's released."

The hearing is to last three days, but the verdict will not fall until several weeks later.

It was July 22, 2011, when Breivik, after months of meticulous preparations, detonated a car bomb outside the government headquarters in Oslo, killing eight people and wounding dozens. He then drove to the island of Utøya, where he opened fire on the annual summer camp of the left-wing Labor Party's youth wing. Sixty-nine people were killed, most of them teenagers, before Breivik surrendered to police.

In 2012, Breivik was sentenced to a maximum sentence of 21 years with a clause - rarely used in the Norwegian legal system - that he can be detained indefinitely if he is still considered a danger to society. It is this section that means he can demand a parole after 10 years. And although it probably means a life sentence, it also opens up the possibility that Breivik can demand annual probation hearings, where he can broadcast his views, says Johnsen.

"According to Norwegian law, he has the right to go before a judge now," said Øystein Storrvik, Breivik's defense lawyer. ‘He emphasizes that right. And his motivation for doing so is hard for me to have an opinion on. ”

Storrvik confirmed that Breivik will call the Swedish neo-Nazi Per Oberg to speak in his defense. He would not otherwise outline the basis of Breivik's case, but made it clear that no one should expect remorse.

"By law, there is no obligation for you to be remorseful," Storrvik said. ‘So it’s not a main legal point. The legal problem is whether he is dangerous. "

Lisbeth Kristine Røyneland, who heads a support group for families and survivors, fears that giving Breivik a platform can inspire like-minded ideologues. "I think he's doing this as a way to get attention. The only thing I'm afraid of is whether he's able to speak freely and convey his extreme views to people who have the same mindset." she said.

She pointed to the case of Norwegian shooter Philip Manshaus, who, inspired by the terrorist attacks in New Zealand in 2019, murdered his step-sister and tried to storm a mosque.

Breivik has the form of a tribune to try to advance his extremist goals. During his trial in 2012, he entered the courtroom daily with a closed fist greeting and told grieving parents he wished he had killed more. He has tried to start a fascist party in prison and reached out via email to right-wing extremists in Europe and the United States. Prison officers seized many of these letters as they feared Breivik would inspire others to commit violent attacks.

In 2016, he sued the government, saying his isolation from other prisoners, frequent searches and the fact that he was often handcuffed during the early part of his imprisonment violated his human rights. He gave a Nazi salute to journalists during the case, which he originally won but was overturned by higher courts in 2017.

In addition to providing a pulpit for the killer, the case can reopen psychological wounds for the victims' families and survivors, says Røyneland.

"I personally think it's absurd that he has this option. I think he's ridiculous, but you have to remember that it's going to be hard for the survivors and the parents to have all this attention, and some people can be retraumatized. . "

At the time of the attacks, Breivik claimed to be the head of a secret Christian military order planning an anti-Muslim revolution in Europe. Investigators found no trace of the group. In 2016, he described himself as a traditional neo-Nazi and said his former crusader image was only on display.

Breivik has three cells to himself in the high-security wing of Skien prison. The cells are equipped with video game consoles, a television, a DVD player, electronic typewriter, newspapers and exercise machines. He also has daily access to a larger gym. Rosenqvist said that his relationship is "excellent" and that he has been given the opportunity to pass his high school diplomas and is now studying at university level.

The court, which convicted him in 2012, found him criminally sane and rejected the prosecution's view that he was psychotic. Breivik did not appeal his verdict.

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