Norway mass murder trial wraps up
How do you cover a murder trial where there is no question mark over whether Anders Behring Breivik did it? He boasts that he did, and says that he wished he'd killed more. A court case where the moment he arrived in court and the handcuffs were taken off, the defendant flashed a Nazi style salute - only to be swiftly followed by the prosecution going over to him and shaking his hand. A trial where the defence is pleading that their man should NOT be treated as mentally ill, but utterly sane and rational for killing 77 people in cold blood. While the prosecution wants the opposite.
Even though we are up in Oslo, I am struggling to find my mental magnetic north. But it's been like that from the beginning. When I first went to Norway the day after the killings, the main shopping street in Oslo had the army patrolling, and broken glass still covered the area around the government buildings which housed the Prime Minister's office. Bits of masonry hung precariously from the building and jagged lengths of metal protruded from window frames at improbable angles. The people were numb. In shock. In disbelief. Terrorism and mass murder just didn't happen in quiet, liberal, decent, prosperous, civilized Norway.
The sense of a nation suffering a loss of innocence was profound. We interviewed survivors, relatives, ministers - both political and religious. And from everyone came the same, measured, calm, thoughtful responses. Anger, vindictiveness, rage was in short supply. We found no-one who called for Breivik be strung up. I thought maybe that was numbness in the immediate aftermath of the atrocity. But nearly one year on, nothing had changed. Their tolerance was remarkable and strangely, almost made me angry. It was hard to relate to. But one of the survivors put it thus: "If I feel hate for him, how do I move on with my life? He will have
The past few weeks have been uncomfortable for Norway as the trial has unfolded. But families and relatives alike retain a touching faith in their justice system to deliver the verdict that they want: that he is criminally responsible for what he did. And though everything about him appears sane and rational and deliberate and meticulously thought through - how can you be sane and kill that many young people in cold blood? This is Jon Sopel for CBS News in London.
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