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Norwegian police took the self-confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik back to Utøya island to stage a reconstruction of his slaughter of 69 people last month.
“We were able to animate his memory with regard to what happened out there,” police prosecutor Paal-Fredrik Hjort Kraby told reporters, adding that many new details emerged in the eight-hour journey around the island.
The victims had been attending an island summer camp run by the youth wing of Norway’s Labour party, which Breivik condemned in a rambling manifesto. Most of the victims were in their teens or 20s, and some were shot while attempting to swim to safety.
Despite Breivik’s admission that he committed the attacks, Kraby said an extensive reconstruction was needed to show survivors and relatives exactly what happened and also to clarify details of the attack that would be presented at Breivik’s trial, expected to begin next year.
“It’s important they get to know as much as possible about what happened on the island, even if it has to come from the suspect himself,” Kraby said. “We’re seeking as many details as possible about each killing.”
Breivik was wearing a bulletproof vest and a leash held by a guard while he returned to the scenic Norwegian island through a simulation of his actions.
Moreover, a police helicopter was circling and commandos were armed and ready for action while Breivik returned to Utøya aboard a ferry similar to the one he had taken the day of the attacks.
He wasn’t wearing handcuffs in order to give him greater freedom of movement during the simulation, Kraby said.
Breivik showed police how he stalked his victims at times holding up his arms as if pretending to take aim at fleeing members of that political youth camp who were his targets on the island of Utøya.
Parts of the simulation were recorded and broadcast by the Norwegian media. The frightening pictures, which showed Breivik in action brought back the memory of the terror from that rainy afternoon on July 22. The video of the simulation posted on the website of the newspaper VG shows him pointing an imaginary rifle into the water to show how he shot his victims.
The 32-year old self-described Christian crusader was calm and co-operative as police prosecutor said. ”The suspect showed he was not unmoved by being back on Utøya,” Kraby said. ”But he did not show any remorse.”
Breivik has admitted to plotting and carrying out the attack as well as detonating a bomb a few hours earlier that killed eight people inOslo. Most of his victims were affiliated with the Labour Party, the leader of the country’s governing coalition, which has helped turnNorwayinto a haven for asylum seekers.
Survivors of the gun attack which claimed the lives of 69 people last month at Utøya revisited the massacre scene a few days ago in the company of families and friends of those who died.
About 500 people visited the island in light rain. As many as 1,500 people are expected to visit over the weekend (20-21 August) including the Norwegian Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg.
Survivors and victims, who were not allowed into the court hearing, were represented by lawyers. Breivik could face a 21-year prison sentence if found guilty of terrorism charges, but that could be extended indefinitely if he is still deemed to pose a threat to the public.