Mass killer Anders Behring Breivik has appeared for his court case against the Norwegian government, making a Nazi salute. Authorities are expected to argue that he is in isolation for his own safety.
Rightwing extremist Breivik made the salute as he arrived in court on Tuesday for his lawsuit against the Norwegian state, which he claims has violated his human rights by holding him in isolation.
Breivik, who appeared with his head shaved and wearing a dark suit, turned toward the media before raising his right arm to make the gesture.
The 37-year-old alleges the Norwegian state has violated his human rights by holding him in isolation for almost five years.
"One of his main things to do (in prison) was to study and he has stopped that now, and I feel that is a sign that isolation has been negative to his psychological health," Oystein Storrvik told AFP.
Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, will appear in court Tuesday for the first day of a four-day trail at Skien prison, 130 kilometers southwest of the capital Oslo, where the killer is held.
The 37-year-old has been in solitary confinement since August 2012 after being handed a 21-year sentence for killing eight people in a bomb attack outside a government building in Oslo and then another 69 people in an attack at a Labor Youth camp on the island of Utoya.
Doctors as witnesses
Breivik's mail is censored by prison officials and his visits are mainly from professionals and are held behind a glass partition.
Breivik will testify reportedly for about three hours on Wednesday morning. He has called two witnesses to testify: prison psychiatrist Randi Rosenqvist and Helga Fastrup Ervik from Norway's ombudsman against torture and ill-treatment. Government witnesses include officials and doctors from the two prisons where Breivik has been held since his arrest.
Norway's office of the attorney general says Breivik's prison conditions are "well within the limits of what is permitted" under the Convention. The office says he has access to three cells -- one for living, one for studying and a third for physical exercise -- as well as a television, a computer without Internet access and a game console. He is able to prepare his own food and do his own laundry.
"There are limits to his contacts with the outside world which are of course strict... but he is not totally excluded from all contact with other people," the lawyer who will defend the state at trial, Marius Emberland, told AFP.
The court's verdict is expected in a month. Breivik's prison sentence can be extended if he is still considered a danger to society.