OSLO — The trial of Anders Behring Breivik ended Friday, with defense lawyers insisting that he was sane when he killed 77 people, mostly teenagers, last year and should be sentenced to prison.
On the final day of a trial that has forced Norway, over 10 long weeks, to relive its worst peacetime atrocity, survivors and bereaved parents spoke for the last time of their loss and pain, asking for Breivik to be locked up and forgotten. Their pleas were met with vigorous applause from the courtroom.
Prosecutors have favored declaring Breivik insane and committing him to a hospital. The panel of judges said they would deliver their verdict on Aug. 24.
Members of the defense team, in tears themselves as parents spoke about their slain children, evoked Breivik’s human rights in their conclusion that he should be held accountable for his crimes. Breivik has admitted to the killings but said they were committed in self-defense to combat what he has called the ‘‘Islamic colonization’’ of Europe. He has argued that an insanity judgment would detract from his cause.
‘‘The defendant has a radical political project,’’ said Geir Lippestad, one of his lawyers. ‘‘To make his acts something pathological and sick deprives him of his right to take responsibility for his own actions.’’
Breivik set off a bomb in downtown Oslo that killed eight people on July 22, 2011, then drove to a nearby vacation island, Utoya, and gunned down 69 more people, mostly teenage members of the Labor Party youth wing.
Breivik, appearing unmoved throughout the testimony of the four last witnesses, has claimed that his victims, the youngest just 14, were legitimate targets — ‘‘cultural Marxists.’’ Around 20 survivors and bereaved family members filed out of the courtroom in protest Friday as Breivik gave a statement at the end of the day.
In an hourlong, rambling warning about the evils of Norwegian multiculturalism, by way of ‘‘Sex and the City’’ and Tibet, Breivik drew snickers from the spectators.
“I acted in the principle of necessity for my country, so I ask to be acquitted,’’ he concluded.
If deemed mentally competent, Breivik would probably be given Norway’s maximum prison term of 21 years. A sentence can be extended beyond that if a prisoner is considered a menace to society. If declared insane, he would be committed to a mental institution for as long as he is considered sick and dangerous to others.