The article below describes the latest shenanigans pulled by the defense team in the Anders Behring Breivik trial. Many thanks to our Norwegian correspondent The Observer for the translation.
The translator includes this list of dramatis personae to help non-Norwegians cope with the unfamiliar names:
- Arne Tumyhr is the leader of SIAN (Stop Islamisation of Norway)
- Vidar Kleppe is the leader of Demokratene (Anti-Islamic political party)
- Ronny Alte is the former leader of NDL
- Lars Gule is of course a former wannabe terrorist arrested in Lebanon in 1977 with 500 grams of explosives in his luggage which he intended to use in a terrorist attack in Israel. I like to refer to Gule as ‘Dynamite Harry’, which is the name of a popular alcoholic character in a Norwegian comedy series from the 1970s. I think it’s a very fitting name for such a loser.
By Hans Rustad
Defence attorney Geir Lippestad’s handling of the defence witnesses in the Breivik trial is scandalous. In order to have his client declared criminally sane, Lippestad wanted to prove to the court that there are many like minded individuals in Norway and that they could possibly even be morally responsible.
The complicity aspect has gradually waned as the trial has run its course and Breivik’s morbid personality has become more apparent.
But the question of like-mindedness wasn’t dropped, and it was reflected in the witness list, which roughly consisted of more or less politicised professionals, and representatives of the political opposition which covers a wide spectrum. It was with great reluctance that one was able to see one’s own name on this list next to individuals like Arne Tumyhr and Vidar Kleppe.
One definitely ran the risk of being caught between a rock and a hard place: between individuals such as Lars Gule, Mattias Gardell, Øyvind Strømmen, and Terje Emberland on the one side, and Tumhyr, Kleppe, and Ron Alte on the other.
It is as if one were to make members of SF [Socialist People’s Party — political party in 1970s Norway] responsible for the actions of RAF [Rote Armee Fraktion, Red Army Faction] terrorists if they had committed terrorist acts in Norway. Didn’t they share the same views?
When the media is unwilling to make any such distinction, the discomfort and risks become even greater. One was expected to go to court and incriminate oneself.
Therefore it was a great surprise when Judge Ina Strømstad could reveal that privately summoned expert witnesses were under no legal obligation to testify.
Bruce Bawer and Ole Jørgen Anfindsen could therefore not legally be compelled to testify.
But what happened next was even more scandalous.
In the first lists that the Oslo District Court issued to witnesses subpoenaed by the defence team, they were listed as expert witnesses. Yesterday, day 29 of the trial, the defence team sent out a new revised list in which previous expert witnesses were now listed as ordinary witnesses.
Lippestad is changing the witness status in order to force people to witness, which is unheard of, and one is tempted to use the word “unethical” to describe his actions.
And especially after having listened to the testimony of Lars Gule on Friday. Gule was summoned to do a job: to compromise the moderate right, a job which he performed with great pleasure. If Lippestad seriously believes that people will take the stand for him after Gule’s performance in order to prove the existence of ‘like-mindedness’, he must be seriously deluded.
But there is reason to believe that some people will do so anyway.
The media bias and slander, the omission of information, form an echo chamber, if one may use the new terminology. The court also refers to witnesses as “right-wing extremists “. These accusations have become self-fulfilling, and this is serious in a case which deals with terror and mass murder.
Previous posts about the trial of Anders Behring Breivik: