New Zealand attack: Christchurch attacker appeals to life imprisonment

New Zealand attack: Christchurch attacker appeals to life imprisonment
New Zealand attack: Christchurch attacker appeals to life imprisonment

New Zealand attack: Christchurch attacker appeals to life imprisonment

  • Franz Mao
  • BBC News

New Zealand attack: Christchurch attacker appeals to life imprisonment

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The attack on Muslim worshipers in Christchurch was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history

The perpetrator of the 2019 attack on a New Zealand mosque that killed 51 people has appealed his conviction, officials said.

Court officials added that Brenton Tarrant, 32, has appealed his case and sentence and an appeal hearing is not yet scheduled.

Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2020 for the first degree of first degree murder and attempted murder of Muslim believers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said he was trying to “harm people again”.

When asked about his appeal, Ardern told reporters, “It’s a name that should not be repeated and I will use the same rule to comment on his attempts to harm people again. We shouldn’t give him anything.”

The Ardern government refuses to name Tarrant publicly, denying him any platform or reputation.

Imam Jamal Fouda, a survivor of the Al Noor Mosque attack in Christchurch, said he “finds it difficult to understand Tarrant’s appeal” as he has “personally pleaded guilty”.

He told the New Zealand Herald: “I can’t help but believe this is yet another act by this terrorist to injure his victims again by keeping his memory and acts of terrorism alive.”

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In 2020, Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder and attempted murder of Muslim believers

Tarrant, an Australian who moved to Christchurch in 2017, stormed two mosques in the southern city on March 15, 2019, armed with military-style semi-automatic rifles.

Intending to kill as many Muslims as possible, he broadcast the attack via a headcam on Facebook and also posted a 74-page manifesto on forums promoting extremism.

His trial took place in 2020, and at the trial he chose not to testify, pleaded guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, and declined to defy prosecutors’ request for the maximum sentence possible.

He was sentenced to life in prison without parole, the first time New Zealand had imposed such a sentence. There is no death penalty in the country.

The sentencing judge at the time found that Tarrant showed no remorse, remorse or shame for what he had done, and Judge Cameron Mander told him: “Your crimes are so evil that you will do it even if it is for yours.” Imprisoned for life until death do not exhaust the terms of the sentence.”

Deaths are currently being investigated in New Zealand in the attack and authorities said on Tuesday they were considering whether the appeal would affect the investigation.

The Christchurch attack has been described as the worst mass shooting in New Zealand history, and the shootings prompted Parliament to pass tougher gun laws and buy back certain types of guns from their owners.

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Victims of the Christchurch attack

What happened in Christchurch?

The gunman opened fire on two mosques in the city on March 15, 2019.

First, the believers in the Al-Noor Mosque were attacked.

Less than 30 seconds later, he returned to his car to retrieve another gun, then re-entered the mosque and continued firing at the occupants.

The entire incident was broadcast live on Facebook via a camera that the perpetrator attached to a hat he was wearing and then drove to the Linwood Islamic Center where he shot two people outside and then fired at the windows.

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A map showing the locations of the attack

A man from inside jumped out and picked up one of the attacker’s weapons before being pushed away.

Two police officers then pursued the shooter and arrested him.

After his arrest, Tarrant told police that his plan was to burn down mosques after his attack and that he wished to do so.


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