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Breivik trial turns more confrontational as Utøya witnesses begin testimony

The Labor Party youth camp attendees who were on Utøya island when Anders Behring Breivik went on a shooting rampage, killing 69, began their testimony today.

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The self-confessed killer behind Norway’s twin terror attacks last year, Anders Behring Breivik (r.) and his defense attorney Geir Lippestad sit inside the courtroom in Oslo, Norway, Wednesday, May 9.

Krister Sorbo/NTB scanpix/AP

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The trial against Anders Behring Breivik, the self-confessed killer behind Norway’s twin terror attacks last year, entered a more confrontational stage as the first witnesses from the shooting rampage at Utøya island began testimony today.

Until now, the trial, which addresses Norway’s worst peacetime atrocity, has been calm and civil, with few sharp exchanges. 

Tonje Brenna, general secretary for Labor Party youth and one of several hundred survivors from the Labour Party summer political camp gathering, testified in Oslo District Court that Breivik yelled “satisfied shouts” after shooting his victims. Breivik has denied in earlier court statements that he behaved that way and shook his head in court as he listened to Brenna’s testimony.

“I am sure I heard it, and I am sure there was no grounds for anyone else saying that,” Brenna said when pressed by defense attorney Geir Lippestad if she was certain the shouts came from Breivik. 

Breivik later flashed a disapproving grimace when Brenna described him as a “passive” participant in court, compared to Utøya, where he "controlled" what was happening. He also told the judge he would like to question Brenna about the Labour Party youth’s ideology, a request that was quickly denied.

Brenna was the first of the 46 victims scheduled to testify about the Utøya attack following an emotional week of autopsy reports. Breivik is charged with killing 69, mostly teenagers, during the Utøya attack, as well as eight others in a car bombing of the main government building earlier that day.

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