Crime & Justice

Christchurch mosque terrorist appeals convictions, sentence

Sydney, Australia, Nov 8 (EFE).- The Australian white supremacist who murdered 51 people in his attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch in 2019 is appealing his convictions and life sentence, judicial sources told EFE on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Court of Appeal in Wellington told EFE that Brenton Tarrant has “filed an appeal against both conviction and sentence,” but that no hearing date has been set.

They were unable to provide the grounds of appeal.

Tarrant pleaded guilty in March 2020 to 51 murder charges, 40 attempted murder charges and one terrorism charge.

In August of that year, Judge Cameron Mander of the Christchurch High Court sentenced him to life in prison without parole, an unprecedented sentence in the country.

Since the attack, Tarrant, now 32 years old and in a maximum security prison in Auckland, has claimed that he pleaded guilty under duress, fired his lawyers, and launched a legal challenge seeking a review of his prison conditions and his status as a “designated terrorist entity” (a challenge he later dropped), among other actions.

“He’s doing these things to keep reminding the public that ‘I’m still here.’ He’s trying to not be forgotten. It’s not going to work and he will remain in there forever,” Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times at Al Noor Mosque, told the New Zealand Herald.

On Mar. 15, 2019, Tarrant, who had immigrated to New Zealand two years earlier, indiscriminately fired semi-automatic weapons at people in two mosques, killing 51 and wounding 40.

The Australian posted his white supremacist manifesto to social media before his attack and livestreamed the massacre on Facebook via bodycam.

Just weeks after the attack, the New Zealand government tightened its gun laws, and in 2020 it acknowledged that failures had been made prior to the attack, including an “inappropriate concentration of resources” on the threat of Islamist extremist terrorism. EFE


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