Police revised the death toll in Norway’s massacre to 76 on Monday, as the man accused of carrying out the attacks pleaded not guilty at his custody hearing.
At least 68 people were killed at a youth camp in Utoya and eight at a bombing in downtown Oslo on Friday, down from the previous total of 93. Officials said the number was initially inflated because of confusion at the site and the figure could still change.
Not long before police spoke to the media, Anders Behring Breivik told a Norwegian court he wanted to save Europe and send a strong message when he carried out the attacks within hours of each other on Friday.
Breivik, 32, who has said he’s not criminally responsible and requested an open hearing to explain his motives, also published a 1,518-page online manifesto that appear to describe the attacks. Breivik wrote about purchasing fertilizer through his organic farm company, but stated his intent to use the materials to build a bomb. He also wrote about his plans to attack a youth group.
Norway’s police service says it was alerted about a suspicious fertilizer purchase by Breivik in March, but found the transaction legal and didn’t have enough evidence to investigate further.
Judge Kim Heger denied Breivik’s demand for an open hearing Monday and ordered him to be held for eight weeks, four of those in isolation.
He said Breivik could tamper with evidence, and had claimed there are “two more cells in our organization.”
Police say a trial could be a year away. The maximum jail term in Norway is 21 years, but that could be extended if the judge believes Breivik will re-offend.
Meanwhile, Norwegians continue to mourn the worst peacetime massacre in their history. They observed a minute of silence Monday.
Many have laid flowers outside Oslo Cathedral, which has become a makeshift memorial site for the victims.
The attacks were the result of years of planning and grew out of Breivik’s extreme nationalist philosophy and desire for an anti-Muslim revolution.
– With files from The Associated Press