A lawyer acting for the anti-Muslim extremist who says he carried out the massacre in Norway portrayed his client on Tuesday as possibly “insane”, a drug user who believed himself to be in a war that would be understood only by future generations.

“He believes that he is in a war, and in a war you can do things like that,” Geir Lippestad, the lawyer, told a news conference, referring to his client, Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old Norwegian who claims he set off a bomb in Oslo that killed eight people and then massacred 68 mainly young people at a summer camp run by the ruling Labor Party on the nearby island of Utoya.

“He is in a bubble,” said Mr. Lippestad, adding Mr. Breivik took drugs to “be strong, to be efficient, to be awake”. The lawyer did not say which drugs his client used.

“This whole case has indicated that he is insane,” said Mr. Lippestad, but he declined to say whether Mr. Breivik would plead insanity as a defence.

Mr. Breivik was arraigned on Monday on terrorism charges and is being held in solitary confinement. The lawyer, who said he had met his client three times, most recently on Monday, said Mr. Breivik would undergo medical examinations to assess his mental state.

The lawyer said police had told him Mr. Breivik was cooperating but has refused to answer questions about his assertion that he had accomplices in at least two other “cells” in Norway and “several abroad”.

“He tells what he has done, everything he has done, but he won't say anything about other cells,” said the lawyer.

“He has a view of reality that is very difficult to explain,” said Mr. Lippestad. “He says that the rest of the world doesn't understand his point of view, but in 60 years time, they'll understand him.

“He believes someone will kill him,” said Mr. Lippestad, who said Mr. Breivik had expected to be killed during the attacks on Friday or on his way to court on Monday. “I cannot describe him because he is not like anyone.”

Asked if the rampage was aimed at the Labor Party, or at Muslim immigrants, Mr. Lippestad said: “This was an attack on the Labor Party.”

The lawyer acknowledged that he was himself a member of the party. Mr. Breivik did not know of his lawyer's political affiliation, he said.

That offense carries a maximum penalty of 30 years, compared to 21 years for the current charges of terrorism. — New York Times News Service

More In: International | News