Norway massacre suspect pleads not guilty

Updated at 11:08 a.m. Eastern.

OSLO, Norway - Officials say the suspect in Friday's mass killings in Norway has admitted to carrying out the attacks. But they say Anders Behring Breivik has pleaded not guilty during a closed court appearance this morning.

A judge denied Breivik the public stage he wanted to air his anti-Muslim rants and call for revolution on Monday, ruling that the first hearing for the man who has confessed to Norway's twin terror attacks be held behind closed doors.

Breivik had prepared a speech for his day in court even before launching the attacks that killed or wounded scores; some remain missing at both crime scenes.

The death toll from the shooting on Utoya island was lowered by Norwegian police Monday morning, from 86 to 68. Police also raised the number of those killed by the bomb blast in Oslo from seven to eight, making the current death toll 76.

Breivik had requested an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform, making clear in an Internet manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theater.

He staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as "marketing" for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims, he said.

"Based on information in the case the court finds that today's detention hearing should be held behind closed doors," Judge Kim Heger said in a statement. "It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security."

Norwegian broadcaster NRK states that one reason the hearing was closed to media and the public was to prevent possible "coded messages" being broadcast to any Breivik accomplice. Although the suspect appears to be the lone assailant and has confessed to the attacks, police are still investigating the possibility that others were involved.

Reporters and locals thronged the courthouse on Monday ahead of the hearing for their first glimpse of Breivik since the assault. When one car drove through the crowd, people hit its windows and one person shouted an expletive, believing Breivik was inside.

Public broadcaster NRK, however, reported that he was brought to a separate entrance in a police convoy and that the hearing got under way around 2 p.m. local time.

The hearing last about a half-hour, and Reuters reports a convoy believed to be holding Breivik has left the courthouse.

Norway suspect sought anti-Muslim crusade
32-year-old Norway suspect confesses to massacre
Norway massacre's links to right-wing extremism

Peaceful, liberal Norway has been stunned by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital, which the suspect said were intended to start a revolution to inspire Norwegians to retake their country from Muslims and other immigrants. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway's "indigenous" culture.

The court acknowledged that there was a need for transparency in the case and that it normally would consider arguments from the press when making decisions to close hearings but said that wasn't possible "for practical reasons."

It's unusual that the hearing was closed even before it began. Normally, a judge would make such a decision in open court.

Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. In cases of serious crimes or where the defendant has admitted to the charges, longer periods of detention are not unusual.

Before Breivik's arraignment, CBS News correspondent Jeff Glor reports the shocked capital city of Oslo fell silent for a full minute at midday on Monday, in honor of the victims of the double attack.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the mourning nation in a minute of silence on Monday, standing on the steps of an Oslo university next to a flame. The king and queen stood by as well, and neighboring countries Denmark and Sweden also joined in the remembrance.

The search for victims continues and police have not released their names. But Norway's royal court said Monday that those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit's stepbrother, an off-duty police officer, who was working there as a security guard.

Court spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told The Associated Press that his name was Trond Berntsen, the son of Mette-Marit's stepfather, who died in 2008.

Breivik laid out his extreme nationalist philosophy as well as his attack methods in a 1,500-page manifesto. It also describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiped his computer hard drive — all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors.

Norway shooter at camp fired for 1.5 hours

Meanwhile, police in France raided the home of Breivik's father on Monday (pictured at left). Jens Breivik lives in southern France. It wasn't immediately clear whether investigators believed he might share his son's extremist views.

Breivik claims in his writing to be part of a new Knights Templar group, and he hints that there may be others waiting to execute similar attacks, though his lawyer said he insists he acted alone.

"Will attempt to initiate contact with cell 8b and 8c in late March," he writes at one point, but doesn't reference them again or explain if these are aliases.

Norwegian police declined to comment on whether they're concerned about similar attacks.

European security officials said they were aware of increased Internet chatter from individuals claiming they belonged to a new Knights Templar group that Breivik describes, in fantastical terms, in the manifesto. The Knights Templar was a medieval order created to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land after the First Crusade in the 11th century.

The officials said they were still investigating claims that Breivik, and other far-right individuals, attended a London meeting of the group in 2002. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the investigation.

The officials would not confirm whether they had previously identified Breivik as a potential threat.

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.