OSLO, Norway (CBS) -- The court putting Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik on trial for massacring 77 people last year dismissed a lay judge on Tuesday (April 17) after he posted a comment on a Facebook page saying the gunman should face the death penalty.
The trial against Breivik began on Monday, with two professional judges, as well as three lay judges chosen from civil society, presiding over the court.
After the killings last July, lay judge Thomas Indreboe posted "the death penalty is the only just outcome of this case" on a Facebook page.
"According to the section of the court act, nobody can be a judge or juror when such particular circumstances exist that may weaken the trust in the (court's) impartiality. Co-judge Indreboe has expressed on the Internet that the defendant should be given a death penalty. It is understandable that the events of July 22 affected many people and that was expressed in many ways. Indreboe's statement came before he was appointed a lay judge but his statements may weaken the trust in his impartiality," Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen said after the court came back from an adjournment.
"The conclusion is that Mr Indreboe shall be dismissed as a lay judge and Ms (Elisabeth) Wisloff will become a lay judge," she added.
Breivik later took the stand for the first time.
He has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in defence of Norway against multi-culturalism.
If found guilty and sane, Breivik faces a maximum 21-year sentence but could be held indefinitely if he is considered a continuing danger.
If declared insane, he would be held in a psychiatric institution indefinitely with periodic reviews.