Daily Israel Report

Breivik Victim: 'He's a Cowardly Little Man'

Breivik killing spree survivor Ylva Helene Schwenke, 15, says she wears her bullet scars with dignity; views then as a 'symbol of victory'
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/23/2012, 9:29 PM

"Breivik: "Cowardly Little Man
"Breivik: "Cowardly Little Man
Reuters

A teenage victim who survived Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik on Wednesday described her would-be murderer as a "cowardly little man."

Ylva Helene Schwenke, 15, showed the court the scars left by four bullets when she described how Breivik had shot her in the neck and then several more times as she lay bleeding on the floor.

“He's a cowardly little man, really,” Schwenke told reporters after her testimony.

“He shoots a 14-year old girl from behind, and then shoots me twice in the leg; that’s the most cowardly thing I’ve ever heard.”

Showing the court the extensive scars that still cover much of her body, she said:

“I have no problem showing my scars, I look at them as a symbol of victory. We have to pay a price for democracy but we won.”

The stepdaughter of Norway's deputy defense minister Roger Ingebrigtsen, Schwenke wore her wavy brown hair cut short enough to expose the scars on her neck, shoulder and throat.

“I may not be proud of these scars but I wear them with dignity,” she said.

Breivik killed 77 people during a 22 July bombing and shooting attack. He first detonated a car bomb outside government headquarters, killing eight, before gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers, at the ruling Labor Party’s summer camp on Utoeya Island.

The 10-week trial is largely focused on the issue of his sanity to determine whether he will be sent to prison or to a mental institution. With confliction psychiatric reports in play, witness testimonies have become crucial to establish his behavior during the killings.

A first psychiatric exam found him insane, but a second opinion drew the opposite conclusion.

The self-described anti-Muslim militant is intent to prove that he is sane, saying prosecutors are using the trial as a means of dismissing his radical right-wing ideology - outlined in a 1,500-page manifesto - as the ravings of a madman.

Breivik, 33, has confessed to the murders, but pleaded not guilty on the grounds the slayings were “cruel but necessary.”

He described his victims as "traitors" to Norway, saying he acted to stop the “multicultural experiment” and what he described as a “slow motion Muslim invasion” due to the Labor Party's liberalization of immigration laws.

Breivik's five days of chilling and implacably delivered testimony were largely unmarked by emotion, except for one instance when he broke down and cried, saying "my country is dying."

If the court finds him sane, Breivik will face Norway’s maximum 21-year prison sentence, but that term can be extended for as long as he is considered a threat to society. If he is found criminally insane, he will be sent to a closed psychiatric care unit for treatment.

Breivik has openly scoffed at the prospect of a 21-year sentence, calling it "pathetic." He argues the only options should be "acquittal or death."

He has also said he no longer fears being found criminally insane saying "everyone can see I'm rational."