Shoe thrower interrupts Breivik trial | News | DW | 11.05.2012
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Shoe thrower interrupts Breivik trial

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik was interrupted on Friday when the brother of one of his 77 victims hurled a shoe at the confessed mass killer before being escorted from the courtroom, police and witnesses said.

The incident on Friday morning in the Oslo district court was the first outburst from the normally subdued crowd watching the terror trial since the proceedings began in mid-April.

On Friday, forensic experts were going through autopsy reports for some of the 69 victims killed in the shooting massacre at a youth camp, when a man in the second row suddenly stood up.

Mikaela Akerman, a Swedish journalist who was in the courtroom, told news agency AP that the assailant threw one of his shoes at the desk where Breivik was sitting with his defense lawyers before shouting "You killer, go to hell."

The shoe hit one of Breivik's defense lawyers, Vibeke Hein Baera, who was seated closest to the public gallery. Shortly after the incident the assailant was led out of the courtroom.

Thrower still unidentified

Throwing shoes to insult someone is a form of protest in the Islamic world. The practice gained widespread attention when an Iraqi man threw his shoes at former US President George W Bush at a televised news conference in Baghdad in 2008 during the Iraq war.

News agency AFP reported that the thrower was of Iraqi origin. Police didn't identify the shoe-thrower, but did say he was the brother of one of the victims.

"He kept shouting and was crying heavily as he was led out," journalist Mikaela Akerman said. "Some of the spectators clapped their hands. Some yelled 'Bravo'. Many others started crying."

Breivik addressed the court as proceedings resumed after a 10-minute break. "If someone wants to throw something at me, you can do it when I walk in or when I leave," he told the court.

Breivik has been charged with terrorism, and has already admitted to carrying out the bomb-and-shooting rampage that stunned Norway on July 22, 2011.

al/ccp (AP, AFP, Reuters)