World News‎ > ‎

Breivik trial judge dismissed over death penalty comments

posted 17 Apr 2012, 04:42 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 17 Apr 2012, 04:43 ]

The second day of the trial against Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people last summer, starts with the counsels asking for one of the co-judges to leave the panel due to a statement about the death penalty.

The trial of the Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik over a bombing and shooting massacre took an unexpected turn on Tuesday (April 17) when one of the three lay judges in the case was dismissed over questions about his impartiality.
The second day of the hearing was due to begin with Breivik's testimony, but the morning session was adjourned shortly after it started when various parties questioned the involvement of one of the co-judges, Thomas Indrebo, on the five judge panel.

"I want to start the day by raising an issue of bias and legal competence in relation to Thomas Indrebo, one of the co-judges. This morning the court was informed that he made a statement on July 23 and he said that the death penalty is the only just thing to do in this case. We have informed the parties of this case and the coordinating counsels for the victims about this statement and I would now like to give the parties the floor," Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen said.

The representatives for the prosecution, defence and the counsel representing the victims all asked for Indrebo to leave the panel.

The trial was due to resume after a short break after which the lay judge was dismissed.

The court has ruled that Breivik's testimony will not be allowed to be broadcast.

Breivik has said he acted in defence of his country by setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then killing another 69 people in a shooting spree at a youth summer camp organised by the ruling Labour Party.

The trial will turn on whether Breivik is found guilty or insane. While he risks being kept behind bars for the rest of his life, Breivik has said being labelled insane would be a "fate worse than death".

On Monday he was listening impassively for hours as prosecutors read out an indictment detailing how he massacred teenagers trapped on an island resort outside Oslo, and only shed tears when the court later showed one of his propaganda videos.