The Norwegian anti-Islamic militant who massacred 77 people last July arrived at an Oslo courthouse under armed guard on Monday, clenching his fist in a far-right salute and saying he did not recognise the authority of the judges.
Anders Behring Breivik, 33, has admitted setting off a car bomb that killed eight people at government headquarters in Oslo last July, then killing 69 in a shooting spree at a summer youth camp organised by the ruling Labour Party.
Breivik entered the court in handcuffs, which were taken off just before he was seated. He smirked several times as the cuffs were removed, put his right fist on his heart then extended his hand in salute.
"I do not recognise the Norwegian courts. You have received your mandate from political parties which support multiculturalism," Breivik told the court. "I do not acknowledge the authority of the court."
Breivik, dressed in a dark suit, was seated between his attorneys Geir Lippestad and Vibeke Hein Baera as the hearing began.
"I am a writer," he protested when Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen asked him to state his name, age and occupation, noting he had likely been unemployed since being taken into custody.
He pointed out that Arntzen was an acquaintance of former justice minister Hanne Harlem and the sister of ex-prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former Labour Party leader.
Arntzen said this would be duly noted.
Prosecutor Inga Bejer Engh then began reading the 19-page indictment detailing the charges against Breivik.
Breivik, 33, showed no emotion, and look at documents in front of him. Some members of the public wept as Engh read the indictment.
Breivik was expected to enter his plea Monday. The trial is scheduled to run for 10 weeks, with Breivik due to give his testimony on Tuesday.
"It is a special day, to see a person who has caused so much pain, but we have prepared for it," Trond Henry Blattmann, who heads a July 22 support group, told broadcaster NRK before the trial began.
The trial was held amid tight security.The area around the Oslo District Court was cordoned off and all visitors to the court - including media, survivors and the public - had to pass through security checks.
Sniffer dogs on Sunday searched the building, which was guarded by armed police officers, while the airspace over Oslo was closed for small planes.