Daily Digest: Norwegian gunman, former Italian PM Berlusconi and Roger Clemens all on trial

Cali Owings


Here’s your Daily Digest for Monday, April 16:

Lots of trial news today. Timothy Bakdash was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison for the fatal hit-and-run that killed University of Minnesota student Ben Van Handel and injured two others. Check back to mndaily.com later for an updated story.

Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who killed 77 people last summer, claimed self-defense during the first day of his trial in Oslo, Norway, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 33-year-old admitted to killing “69 young people gathered for an annual Labor party political camp on the Norwegian island of Utoya on July 22 after killing eight other people by detonating a homemade bomb that destroyed a government building in the center of the Norwegian capital.”

"I acknowledge the acts," he replied after the charges were laid against him, the Telegraph reports. "But I do not plead guilty and I claim that I was doing it in self defense.”

Breivik has previously publicized his views against Islam, Muslim immigrants and multiculturalism. According to the LA Times, he gave a “raised-fist fascist style salute” before sitting down in court.

The trial is scheduled to last 10 weeks and Breivik is not expected to give his testimony until Tuesday, according to the Telegraph.

Witnesses at the trial of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi testified Monday that he paid for strippers dressed as nuns to perform at his “bunga bunga” parties, according to the BBC.

Berlusconi is being tried on charges that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old Moroccan dancer — just one of three cases in which the former prime minister is currently a defendant.

Prosecutors say Berlusconi had sex with the dancer, Karima el Mahroug, “13 times when she was underage and abused his power as prime minister to get her out of jail when she was held on suspicion of theft,” CNN reports.

The Justice Department is gearing up for the retrial of famed pitcher Roger Clemens as they try to convict him of lying to Congress when he said he did not use performance-enhancing drugs, according to the Associated Press.

They’ve more than doubled the number of prosecutors on his case from two during last summer’s mistrial to five. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial on the second day of testimony because prosecutors used evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. Walton will also preside over the new trial. Jury selection for the retrial began Monday.

Clemens will be represented by Houston-based lawyer Rusty Hardin, whose firm has handled many high-profile sports stars like Scottie Pippen.

The prosecution’s main witness in the retrial will be Clemens’ former strength trainer, Brian McNamee, who says “he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, and even kept the used needles that will be entered as scientific evidence at trial.”