The trial of Anders Breivik, the Norway killer, has ended after 11 months.
Families of survivors and people killed by Breivik walked out of the court just before he was to make his statement in the final 45 minutes given to him to explain why he attacked the crowd. As he started his explanation, some 30 people left the courtroom immediately. He asked the judges to consider him as sane and release him from prison. He also said that after a couple of years, people would thank him for what he had done.
"The July 22 attacks were preventive attacks in defense of my ethnic group and I can therefore not acknowledge guilt," said the 33-year-old right-wing extremist.
"I was acting on behalf of my people, my religion and my country. I therefore demand that I be acquitted," Breivik said.
Relatives of the people killed by Breivik expressed that he is a danger to the community. His unjustifiable act pushed dozens of families in perpetual misery. They also said that the harm he had done to the society would take a while to be forgotten. A bereaved mother, who lost her young daughter at Oslo, said that Breivik's trial and punishment would help them get rid of the fear that he might kill others in future.
"He has a right to talk. We have no duty to listen," Christian Bjelland, the vice chair of the support group for the attacks' survivors and victims' families, told the NTB news agency.
Breivik, 33, is accused of killing 77 people in broad daylight and injuring 242 in July last year. He bombed government buildings in Oslo before shooting young Labor Party supporters at a camp on the island of Utoeya. He considers the killings a service and a message of the impending danger to the community.
Addressing the five Oslo district court judges, he said, "The judges sitting here today can judge me as they wish." But "history will show whether they judge a man who tried to stop evil," he added, insisting he "carried out a small barbarism to stop a greater barbarism."
The court will issue its verdict on August 24, 2012.
The government announced on Friday that memorials to Breivik's victims will be built at the two attack sites.