Norway killer Anders Behring Breivik permitted to receive visitors from Tuesday

Malmo, Sweden - The decision will open the way for Mr Breivik to give his first interviews with the media since he killed 77 people last July, and potentially to receive visits from those sharing his extreme anti-Islamic ideology.

Odd Gron, a lawyer at Lippestad, the firm representing Mr Breivik, said his client had received several letters from supporters requesting a visit.

"There have been requests from fans," he confirmed. "There are letters from people giving him support, there are people who want to tell him that they don't want to give him support, and also letters from journalists requesting arrangements."

Breivik, 32, has confessed to setting off a bomb that ripped through Oslo's government district on July 22, killing eight people, then opening fire at the summer camp of the governing Labour Party's youth wing, killing another sixty-nine.

But in a manifesto he released on the day of the attack, he argued that the killings were "atrocious" but "necessary" to alert white Norwegians to the threat of a creeping takeover by Islam.

Mr Gron said that the requested meetings will only go ahead if and when Breivik makes an application to the authorities at Ila prison, where he is being held in detention in the run-up to his trial in April.

"We have forwarded these requests to Mr Breivik, and so far he has not made any conclusion on any of them," he said. "He has not yet decided if he wants to take visits, who he wants to take visits from, and when."

The ban on visits expires on January 9 under the terms of the extension to Breivik's time in custody until February 6, which was decided by the Oslo court back in November. A similar ban on Breivik receiving letters and newspapers expired on 12 December.

The prison authorities still have the right to refuse Breivik a visit for safety reasons. The prison's four psychiatrists stoked controversy last week when it was revealed that they had seen no evidence that Breivik was psychotic, contradicting the conclusion of the official assessment requested by the Olso court.