The Province

Fake police uniform fooled ferry captain

Guard says ID card looked legitimate


OSLO — A guard and a ferry captain told an Oslo court Thursday how a uniformcla­d Anders Behring Breivik had tricked them last July 22 into allowing him to go to Utoeya Island, where he massacred 69 people.

“You have a certain level of authority when you arrive in a police uniform,” simen Braeden Mortensen told Oslo district court on Day 11 of the gunman’s trial.

In charge of running checks on anyone wanting to go to Utoeya, where the ruling Labour Party’s youth wing was hosting a summer camp, the young guard recalled how Breivik explained he had been sent as a routine precaution after Oslo’s government district was hit by a bomb earlier the same day.

In fact, Breivik himself had set off that bomb, killing eight people.

Braeden Mortensen acknowledg­ed he had been surprised to see the fake officer get out of a grey Fiat van rather than a police vehicle, but had been reassured to see his forged identity card from Norway’s PST intelligen­ce agency, which the right-wing extremist was carrying around his neck.

“I thought it was a legitimate police ID,” the guard said, as the stony-faced confessed killer, 33, looked on.

After making it past the first control, Breivik was allowed to board the MS Thorbjoern ferry, which had been docked at Utoeya after the Oslo attack but had been sent especially to pick up the fake police officer.

Ferry Capt. Jon Olsen explained in his highly anticipate­d testimony that he had helped the killer carry a crate which turned out to be full of ammunition.

He also described how he fled with the ferry when Breivik fired his first shots, as his companion, who was the second person shot, lay dead on the ground and his daughter was still stuck on the island.

“I spend most of my time asking myself if I could have acted differentl­y. Each time, I reach the conclusion­s that I did the right thing,” Olsen said.

Just after unloading the heavy crate that Breivik said was filled with explosive-detection equipment, Olsen saw him shoot and kill his first victim, the camp guard and off-duty police officer Trond Berntsen.

To this day, the ferry captain has trouble rememberin­g if he, seconds later, saw Breivik turn his gun on his companion Monica Boesei, the camp administra­tor who was nicknamed “Mother Utoeya.”

In panic, he fled on foot, but after a long detour managed to get back to the MS Thorbjoern and took off with several other people who had sought refuge on board.

After receiving word that his daughter was alive, Olsen contribute­d to the rescue operation on the island, and helped shuttle injured and dead to the mainland.

Five judges will decide whether Breivik is sane or not when they hand down their verdict in mid-july.

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