Anders Behring Breivik's trial will revolve on his sanity
Anders Behring Breivik's trial will revolve on his sanity Reuters

The trial of Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik was disturbed briefly by a spectator, reportedly a brother of one of his 77 victims, who shouted "Go to hell" and threw a shoe to him.

He was then escorted from the court room by security guards, witnesses said.

The shoe hit the chair of one of Breivik's defence lawyers. The incident caused mixed reactions in the audience. "Some spectators were uncomfortable. Some started crying. Many clapped their hands," Swedish journalist Bjoern Lindahl said.

"He threw one of his shoes at the desk where Breivik sits with his defence lawyers," another Swedish journalist, Mikaela Akerman told The Associated Press. "He shouted, 'you killer, go to hell.' And repeated it several times."

She said Breivik remained calm and "smiled a little". "He keeps shouting and is crying heavily as he's being led out,"Akerman said.

Police operations leader Rune Bjoersvik softened the outburst, calling it a "spontaneous and emotional reaction" that didn't represent a "serious security risk."

Anti-Islamic killer Breivik is charged with terrorism and premediatated murder for a bombing in Oslo's government district, killing eight, and a shooting attack at a political youth camp, killing 69.

The verdict for the trial is expected in mid-July and requires a majority vote of three of five judges. If convicted he would face a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison, though sentences can be extended if a criminal is considered a menace to society. Breivik's resolute claims that he is sane, along with unflinching testimony of how he carried out the murders, have rocked a country that thrives on its atmosphere of democracy.

Hurling shoes as a form of protest has long been very common in many countries. Shoes are considered unclean in the Arab World. The so-called 'Bush Shoeing' in December 2008, when Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then US president Geroge Bush in Iraq, received widespread attention, causing copycat incidents all over the world.