The trial of right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in twin attacks in Norway in July, opened this morning amid tight security and massive media attention.

Upon arriving in the courtroom, Breivik made a far-right salute after his handcuffs were taken off.

Lead judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen opened the proceedings, which are expected to focus on whether or not Breivik is sane.

Shortly thereafter, Breivik, who presented himself to the court as a "writer", told the judges he did not recognise the court's legitimacy.

"I do not recognise the Norwegian court," he said in a brief statement.

At the opening of proceedings, prosecutors read a long list of how each victim was killed, often by multiple gunshots. One was shot six times.

In the 1,500 page manifesto Breivik posted online shortly before the July 22 attacks, he described the farright salute as "the clenched fist salute" of the Knights Templar organisation.

"The raised fist salute consists of raising the right arm with a clenched fist (preferably with a white glove). The clenched fist symbolises strength, honour and defiance against the Marxist tyrants of Europe while the white glove symbolizes purity, duty, kinship and martyrdom," it said.

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