Breivik trial fire man 'mentally ill'

Breivik trial fire man 'mentally ill'

A mentally-ill man has set himself on fire outside the court where right-wing extremist Anders Breivik is being tried for the bombing and shooting massacre that killed 77 people.

Police said the man did not appear to have any connections to the case, which has been under way since mid-April in the Oslo District Court.

Before the incident the man had stopped by the office of Norwegian lawyer Bente Roli, where he dropped off an envelope with “confused” notes.

“He was disturbed. Very much. He has nothing to do with the July 22 events,” she said.

A video clip of the incident posted on Norwegian newspaper VG’s website showed the man setting himself on fire before stunned witnesses. He walked up to police with flames shooting up from his sweater and hat, and appeared to yell “shoot me, it hurts” in a Scandinavian language with a foreign accent.

He then ran toward the security checkpoint outside the court but turned right just before the entrance and slumped to the pavement. The man shouted in pain as police officers rushed up to him and tore off his burning sweater.

“There were police officers on site and the fire was put out quickly,” police operations leader Finn Belle said.

Ms Roli said she was not in the office when the man came in but her secretary met him.

“He was psychologically unstable and thought he was the victim of a conspiracy,” she said. “He thought everyone was after him because of the social problems he has.”

The man was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Breivik has admitted to setting off a car bomb that killed eight people outside the government headquarters in Oslo and then killing 69 people in a shooting rampage at the Labor Party’s annual youth camp. The self-styled anti-Muslim militant has shown no remorse for the attacks, saying the victims had betrayed Norway by embracing multiculturalism.

The self-immolation was the first incident outside the Oslo district court since the trial began. Inside the court, an Iraqi man whose brother was killed in the massacre threw a shoe at Breivik on Friday, hitting one of Breivik’s defence lawyers. That incident briefly interrupted the proceedings, which had been conducted without disturbance until then.

The trial is scheduled to run until the end of June.


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