Breivik Trial, Day 6
Breivik Trial, Day 6 Reuters

Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 on 22 July 2011, says he chose victims who looked "left-wing" while sparing those who looked "right-wing."

"Certain people look more leftist than others," Breivik said on the sixth day of his trial. He explained to the court how he picked off "Marxists" with his rifle and pistol while passing over one young man he said "looked right-wing."

"This person ... appeared right-wing, that was his appearance. That's the reason I didn't fire any shots at him," said Breivik, 33.

The 22-year-old he chose not to kill, a Labour Party youth wing activist named Adrian Pracon, told reporters, "I remember him pointing the gun at me for quite a long time before he took it down, turned and walked away."

Later in the ongoing murder spree, which lasted more than an hour, Breivik came upon Pracon again as he played dead, and this time shot him in the shoulder.

Breivik has given the court detailed accounts of his car bomb attack at government headquarters in Oslo, which killed eight, and a follow-up gun massacre at a Labor Party island camp where he killed 69, mostly teenagers.

Breivik's cold and matter-of-fact testimony has caused both revulsion and outrage in a Norway that remains mesmerized by a trial that is focused - first and foremost - on whether the defendant is criminally insane.

Breivik has been allowed to use his testimony to issue warnings against immigration, tout his 1,500 page manifesto declaring himself to be a part of an anti-Muslim militant group prosecutors maintain does not exist, and describe his hours spent surfing the Internet for bomb-making recipes.

Breivik has confessed to the 77 murders, but denies criminal guilt on the grounds that his victims were "traitors" whose multiculturalist views facilitated what he saw as a de facto Muslim invasion of Europe.

Last Tueday, Breivik broke down crying during his testimony, saying "my country is dying" due to the influx of Muslim immigrants in Norday.

However, on Monday Breivik issued an apology to innocent bystanders hurt or killed when his car bomb went off in Oslo. More than 200 were injured.

"To all of those ... I want to say I am deeply sorry for what happened," he said. "But what happened, happened."

He called his acts "a minor barbarity to prevent a larger one," in reference to what he says is Europe's cultural decline.

Breivik also said that he spared the life of a 10-year-old boy whom he had had in his rifle sights on the island, apparently seeking to demonstrate he has a conscience.

"I could not understand what such a little boy was doing at a political indoctrination camp," said Breivik.

Prior to the trial, Breivik underwent two separate psychiatric evaluations. One concluded he was criminally insane, while the other concluded he was mentally fit to stand trial.

If Breivik is deemed sane, he could face a 21-year prison sentence, or an indefinite alternative custody arrangement for as long as he is deemed "a threat to society."

Breivik, who has described a 21-year prison sentence as "pathetic," maintains the only acceptable outcomes for the trial are aquittal or execution.

If, however, prosecutors succeed in convincing the court that Breivik is criminally insane - which has been their strategy to date – Breivik would be indefinitely committed to a psychiatric institution for treatment.

Such a sentence would also allow officials in Norway to dismiss his radical right-wing ideology as the ravings of a madman.