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Norwegian Court: Media Barred From Hearing of Bombing, Shooting Suspect

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  • Anders Breivik on way to court
    (Photo: Reuters / Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen)
    Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy as he is leaving the courthouse in Oslo, July 25, 2011.
  • norway
    (Photo: Reuters / Cathal McNaughton)
    Judge Kim Heger (seated, 2nd L) attends a news conference after the ruling of Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik at the courthouse in Oslo July 25, 2011. A top Oslo court official declined to elaborate on a statement made by a Norwegian mass killer claiming that there were "two more cells" in his organisation. Asked by reporters to detail what the gunman meant, Oslo court chief Geir Engebretsen repeated the ruling of Heger who is trying Breivik's case.
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By Jeff Schapiro, Christian Post Reporter
July 25, 2011|10:39 am

Just as the peace-loving nation of Norway observed a minute of silence today for the victims of the recent bombing and shooting attacks, the suspect being accused in both incidents, 32-year-old Anders Breivik, has been silenced by the court today, despite his request that the media be present at his hearing so that he could explain to the whole world why he did it.

Just before Breivik arrived for his first court appearance, which lasted about an hour, the court released a statement saying, “Based on information in the case, the court finds that today’s detention hearing should be held behind closed doors.”

“It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security,” the court said.

The decision to keep the hearing closed was made by Judge Kim Heger, who reportedly made the call after police requested that she do so.

The Telegraph reports that Brievik was under “heavy guard” when he arrived at court. As the heavily armored car drove by the waiting crowds, people reportedly started banging on the vehicle and shouting things like “You have betrayed our country” and cursing at Brievik as the car made its way to a basement parking area. An hour later he was driven out through the same way that he came.

After the hearing Judge Heger spoke to the media, saying, “The accused has made statements today that require further investigation, including that 'there are two more cells in our organization'." This statement seems to conflict with Breivik's previous confession, in which he said that he committed the heinous acts by himself, but the court would not elaborate on what his statement today could potentially mean.

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Breivik maintains that he committed the acts but denies that he's committed any crime.

News.com.au reports that Breivik is being charged with acts of terrorism after confessing to both the Oslo bombing and the shooting massacre at a youth camp on Utoya island. He reportedly told the court that he committed the attacks in order to “save Norway and Western Europe” and accused the nation's leading Labour Party of bringing in a “mass import of Muslims.”

Heger ordered that Brievik should be kept in custody for eight weeks, giving the prosecution time to prepare their case against him. He will spend the first four weeks in solitary confinement and will not be allowed to receive mail or visitors during that time.

 

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