Breivik trial: Wounded tell of Utoeya massacre
Published: 14th May 2012 11:45:55
The trial of Anders Behring Breivik has begun hearing testimony from witnesses who survived being shot by him on Norway's Utoeya island.
One witness who escaped by swimming said she thought she was going to die, but preferred to drown than be shot.
Another described how he had covered himself with soil to hide from Breivik.
Breivik, 33, admits killing 69 people at the youth camp on Utoeya and eight people in a Oslo bomb attack last July. He denies criminal responsibility.
Fighting back tears as she recounted her ordeal on Utoeya, Silja Kristianne Uteng, 21, told the court she fled across the camp site into the lake and "swam for her life" along with several others, but saw the killer appear at the shore.
Anders Breivik has been confronted with the first of those he shot and wounded but who survived at Utoeya.
One very slight, and in her own words very nervous, young girl asked to have him removed from court before she took to the witness stand.
Frida Holm Skoglund felt she could not give testimony while the man who tried to kill her less than a year ago sat only a few metres away.
Her small voice and slight build was an enormous contrast to her story of survival. She told the court how she had managed to remove the bullet from her wound herself before taking to the icy waters and swimming until an asthma attack almost made her go underwater.
Speaking in court today, she had one message for the killer: "We won, he lost. Norwegian youths can swim."
Wounded tell of Breivik massacre
"I thought that now I will die," she said. "I thought that I would rather drown than be shot." She managed to swim the 600m through cold waters to the mainland.
Ms Uteng said she only realised she had been shot in the arm when she took off her jacket and saw blood and a bullet hole.
Another survivor, Lars Groennestad, 20, said Breivik had shot him in the shoulder, narrowly missing his spine but puncturing his lung.
He said he had run to hide under trees, covering himself in soil to reduce the likelihood of being spotted, and waited until police came to help him.
A third witness, Frida Holm Skoglund, asked for Breivik to be removed from court, as she was too nervous to testify before the man who tried to kill her.
She recounted how she fled into woods and removed a bullet from her thigh, after at first not believing it when a friend pointed out that she had been shot.
"I thought it was nonsense, that it was not a real bullet. But I felt something sharp in my thigh, and it was the bullet," she told the court. "So I took it out and I threw it away from me. But it did not hurt."
Asked about Breivik's demeanour during his shooting spree, she said he seemed calm, but "aggressive on the trigger".
Breivik claims to have been defending Norway from immigration and says he attacked the Labour Party youth event on the island of Utoeya because of the party's support for multiculturalism.
Last week, the court heard from survivors who escaped unhurt, as well as the last of evidence from coroners who carried out post mortem examinations on Breivik's victims.
The trial's outcome hinges on whether the court finds Breivik to have been sane. If it does, he could face 21 years in prison, if not, he is likely to be held indefinitely in a psychiatric institution.
Breivik seeks to prove his sanity, as he wants to demonstrate that he acted out of ideological motivations.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Breivik trial: Wounded tell of Utoeya massacre. [Online] (Updated 14 May 2012)
Available at: http://www.glasgowwired.co.uk/news.php/1428365-Breivik-trial-Wounded-tell-of-Utoeya-massacre [Accessed 20th June 2013]
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