He said (as transcribed by Ultimate-Guitar.com):
“So here we are. I am trying to defend myself against slander. But what I get in return from those who don’t like me is simply, ‘That’s not what the conviction says.’ ‘That’s not what the investigation shows.’ But do they really know a lot about the conviction? Do they really know a lot about the investigation by the police? Let’s find out.
“The main investigator – or the lead investigator – in my case was a guy named Stian Elle. And I want to take a leap forward, from 1994 to 1997. He was investigating another case, known in Norway as the Birgitte Tengs case.
“In this case, they managed to get the suspect to confess… The cousin of Birgitte Teng confessed that he had killed her. Later on, it turned out that the confession was false.
“He had been manipulated by the police, and he hadn’t done it. But still, they managed to get him to confess having killed his own cousin when he hadn’t done it. In the wake of this case, the police was heavily criticized because they had used methods that were at best very immoral, and they had to change their methods of interrogation – of interviews.
“Because what they did was to make people confess falsely. They made people give false testimony, just like we know people who are tortured do. Now, in this case, the lead investigator, Stian Ella, the same guy who was the lead investigator in my case was thrown to the wolves by the police. He took all the blame for the entire department, for the entire police in Norway. And the media was witch-hunting him and yeah, the police didn’t defend him at all – they just let the wolves in the media hack at him.
“And of course – he had done something wrong, he had used these methods that were manipulative that led to false testimonies.
“Back to 1994, they used those methods in my case too they manipulate people to giving false testimony. So I would argue about the investigation – no, they didn’t investigate the case. They weren’t interested in finding the truth. What they did and what Bård ‘Faust’ [Eithun] from Emperor testified, under oath, in the court of law in 1998 was that the police had told him that ‘we’re here to get Varg Vikernes. We are not interested in anything else. Give us everything you can to get him. Don’t you want to get back at him killing your friend?’
“And why shouldn’t we believe him? Why shouldn’t we believe him when some years later they disclosed being manipulative and using lies and different means of pressure to provoke people to come up with false testimony.
“Then about the trial. I was convicted in the court of law, right? So didn’t they find the truth? Didn’t ‘justice prevail, dude?’ And I would argue no. First of all, the jury was made up of Freemasons and the one and only Christian healer in Norway, who claimed to be able to look through you and pull out everything evil by the help of Jesus.
“This type of guy was in my jury – the only one in Norway and they managed to put him in my jury. Then you have my defense lawyer. I was sitting there in court, we had witnesses, and they were lying. They were lying in a way that would have been so easy to disclose their lies with a few questions. And I told my lawyer, ‘Come on, ask him this or that.’ And my lawyer said, ‘We’ll do it later on.’
“And I was young. I had no experience with you know this type of thing so I thought, ‘Okay we’ll do it later on.’ Only later on and never came – never. I was never able to have my lawyer ask these questions. In short, I wasn’t unable to have a defense. My lawyer didn’t defend me.
“And you could say, ‘Well, didn’t you appeal?’. Well, no, because it wasn’t possible to appeal in Norway at the time. You had one trial and that was it – no chance to appeal. The only thing you could appeal on was the length of the sentence. So I had that one chance and my lawyer didn’t defend me.
“So if you hear lies, if you hear exaggerations about this case, it’s no wonder because not even my own defense lawyer was defending me. They just screwed me over big time.”
Focusing on the smile, Varg said:
“And then, ladies and gentlemen, we come to a moment that I get a lot of questions about – the smile when I was convicted. Why did I smile?
“I was sitting there and I had gone through something that, to me, was nothing short of a farce. I have not been able to defend myself; I had a jury that was just hostile from the beginning; my own co-defense lawyer went to the witness stand and tried to witness against me; the guy who – Snorri – who had accompanied me to Oslo had been so afraid that he would be convicted for it that he had made up a story about a plan to murder him.
“And I was just sitting there, ‘What the f*ck is this? It’s a joke.’ If they had just told me, you know, ‘F*ck it, we won’t give you a trial – just convict you and send it by mail,’ I would not have felt less justly treated.
“The whole thing was a farce. What they wanted was a scapegoat. What they wanted was to scare straight the ‘black metal community.’ And they decided, you know, beforehand, ‘That guy – he’s going down. Crush him, f*ck his defense, f*ck his rights, f*ck everything. Use that guy to scare straight the others.’ That’s what they did.
“So when the judge started to read from the conviction, and I heard what she read, and she read things like, ‘Vark Vikernes had an incomprehensible motive for killing him,’ when Snorri had stood in the frickin’ witness box and told them how he had let me listened to Euronymous himself tell him he wanted to get rid of me.
“They didn’t even – they didn’t even admit, they didn’t even grant me that, you know. The guy [Euronymous] plan to knock me out with a stun gun, tie me up to a tree, and torture me to death whilst filming it. And I knew about it! And yet, they managed to write in the frickin’ conviction that I had an ‘incomprehensible motive’ for telling him.
“It’s, like, ‘Where are the hidden cameras?’, you know. It’s beyond ‘1984,’ it’s just freakin’ insane! And then, of course, I knew from the beginning that I was gonna get 21 years [the maximum sentence at the time] because that’s what they wanted and everybody understood that.
“So when she was reading it loud and she looked at me with some sadistic pleasure, you know – I was, like, as if I didn’t know already.
“And that’s where a smile came. So that was it. And my argument is still – what you know about the case came from the ‘investigation’ that was seriously flawed. And the conviction – what does it prove? Well, it proves that there is no justice in Norway. It proves that there was no justice for me.
“And when I came to the prison and I talked to other guys who have been through the justice system, they had the same experience, you know. Not that they were used as scapegoats but that there was no justice. If even just 10% of what they said was true, it’s enough to shock even the most system-skeptical person.
“And the funny thing is that I talked to a lot of East Europeans, and they told me that it felt as if they had gone straight back to the Soviet era when they came to Norway.
“In Germany, they had to, you know, produce some evidence against to get them convicted. And when they didn’t, they let them go. Same thing in other countries in Europe. But in Norway, they didn’t give a sh*t. They just threw them to jail, convicted them, and they were sitting there, like, ‘What the f*ck. The Soviet Union still exists?’.
“So I don’t believe for a second that it’s a lot better today because, you know, they like to give you that impression. Today you can make an appeal. You can appeal and have your case tried again, but pretty sure it’s not going to change a lot, just for the looks of it. It’s still a Soviet justice system, that is, injustice.”