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Man Sets Himself Ablaze Outside Breivik Trial

An unidentified man set himself on fire outside the courthouse where Norway's mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is on trial
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/15/2012, 4:27 PM

Self-immolating man evacuated in Oslo
Self-immolating man evacuated in Oslo
Reuters

A man on Tuesday set himself on fire outside the Oslo courthouse where confessed Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik is being tried for his 22 July 2011 bombing and shooting massacre.

Police operations leader Finn Belle told reporters the man doused himself in a flammable liquid and set himself on fire outside the courthouse.

"There were police officers on site and the fire was put out quickly," Belle said. "The man received burn injuries and was transported to Oslo University Hospital."

He said the man's identity or the motive for his actions were not immediately clear.

When asked whether this incident was connected to the trial, Belle said, "One would think there is one connection or another but we don't have any information on that."

Last week, a brother of one of Breivik's victims disrupted the court when he stood, hurled a shoe at Breivik, and screamed "Go to Hell! Go to Hell! You killed my brother!"

In late April, tens of thousands of Norwegians gathered outside the courthouse to sing "The Rainbow Song," and ode to multiculturalism Breivik testified he despises.

Breivik has admitted to a car bombing that killed eight outside a government building in Oslo and a subsequent shooting rampage at a Labor Party youth camp on Utoya Island, in which he shot 100 people - killing 69.

He pleaded not guilty saying his acts were "cruel, but necessary" in the face of what he has described as a "slow motion invasion" by Muslims due to Norway's liberalization of its immigration policies.

According to Breivik, his victims were traitors to Norway for having embraced multiculturalism.

During his five days of chillingly and implacably delivered testimony when the trial first opened in mid-April, Breivik only broke down once, crying "my country is dying."

Breivik's sanity is a key point of contention in the trial due to conflicting psychiatric evaluations conducted prior to the trial.

Prosecutors have argued he is a dangerous psychotic and attacked Breivik's claim that he carried out the attacks on behalf of a shadowy group he calls the "Knights Templar."

Breivik is fighting to prove his own sanity, arguing prosecutors are challenging his sanity as a politically convenient way of publicly dismissing his extreme right-wing ideology.

After several days of contentious testimony by Breivik and dueling psychiatrists, he expressed confidence that his sanity had been clearly established.

If the court does rule Breivik is criminally sane, he faces a maximum sentence of up to 21 years in prison or an alternative custody arrangement for as long as he is deemed a threat to society.

Breivik derided a 21 year sentence as "pathetic," saying the only acceptable outcome for the trial is "acquittal or execution."