Anders Behring Breivik shouted with joy as he fired off round after round at youngsters on Utoya, a survivor of his massacre of 69 people on the Norwegian island last July told an Oslo court yesterday.
Speaking in a clear and decisive voice, Tonje Brenna told the Oslo district court how she heard the killer’s ecstatic shouts as bodies rained around her hiding place in the crevasse of a cliff.
“I am absolutely sure that I heard cries of joy,” testified the 24-year-old head of the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing, AUF, who was the first of the Utoeya survivors to take the stand.
“If I had to spell it out, it would be WOO-HOO. Obviously cries for joy,” she said.
Seated at a table just a few metres from her, Breivik, who has shown virtually no emotion since his trial began on April 16, sat shaking his head in disapproval as Brenna recounted the events of July 22.
The 33-year-old right wing extremist has insisted that he never laughed or smiled during the massacre, when dressed as a policeman he gunned down 69 mostly teenage particpants at an AUF summer camp on the island.
“Why would I have laughed when I was there? That is not true. It was horrible. I did not smile,” he told the court on April 20.
Breivik has been charged with committing terrorist acts when he first bombed a government building in Oslo on July 22, killing eight people, before heading out to Utoeya.
He has confessed to killing the 77 people who died that day but has refused to plead guilty, insisting the attacks were “cruel but necessary” to stop the Labour Party’s “multicultural experiment” and the “Muslim invasion” of Norway and Europe.
“People were calling home to say farewell to their loved-ones,” Brenna recalled.
The young woman described the despair that gripped her on July 22, telling the court that the killer at one point had been so close she could smell gunpowder from his weapons and that she thought she would never get off the island alive.
“I thought it was only a question of time. It was impossible to avoid being hit, the shots were coming so rapidly,” she said.
“On every side, people were falling. We could hear people falling into the water and on to the rocks,” she said. “There were calls for help. Mobile phones were ringing continuously.”
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