Norway marks 2011 attacks anniversary, verdict pending
Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:40PM
The bomb and the gunshots were meant to change Norway. The Norwegian people answered by embracing our values. The perpetrator lost. The people won." Norwegian Prime Minister Jens StoltenbergNorwegians are commemorating the 77 people killed in a bomb and gun carnage a year ago by anti-Islam terrorist Anders Behring Breivik. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg told a wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday at the bomb site that Breivik, a 33-year-old far-right fanatic, had failed to destroy the peaceful European nation’s commitment to multiculturalism, the Associated Press reported. "The bomb and the gunshots were meant to change Norway. The Norwegian people answered by embracing our values. The perpetrator lost. The people won," Stoltenberg said. "It's been a very heavy year for all of us. Not a day has passed the tragedy has not filled the room. Let us honor the dead by being happy about the life they had, and the life we share,” he added.
Breivik has already admitted to the bomb and gun attacks at the left-wing Labor Party's youth camp on Utoya Island. However, the anti-Muslim extremist says he acted in defense. He claimed himself to be a crusader and his attacks a political act designed to prevent what he described as a "Muslim invasion" of Europe.Prosecutors said during a 10-week trial that ended in June that Breivik was psychotic and should be sent to compulsory psychiatric care. Breivik's main defense lawyer Geir Lippestad said in Breivik’s hearing that his client’s claims of being an anti-Muslim fighter were not delusions, but part of an Islamophobic ideology shared by other right-wing extremists. Breivik himself dismissed the findings of a psychiatric evaluation of him as “ill-willed fabrications,” insisting he was sane and wanted to be found accountable for his actions so that his anti-Islam ideology will be taken seriously. The final verdict of the court is expected to be announced in August. KA/JR