Crime & Justice

New Zealand mosque attack gunman showed no remorse, victims say

Sydney, Australia, Aug 25 (efe-epa).- The Australian man who confessed to committing the 2019 terror attack against two New Zealand mosques that killed 51 people showed no remorse for the crimes he committed, according to testimony from the families of the victims in a court on Tuesday.

Brenton Tarrant, 29, is facing sentencing for 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism at the Christchurch High Court in a hearing that began on Monday and is scheduled to end on Thursday.

On the second day of the hearing on Tuesday, Tarrant listened impassively to the recriminations and heartbreaking testimonies of those who lost their loved ones in the shootings carried out by him at Christchurch’s Al Noor and Linwood mosques on Mar. 15, 2019.

The testimony of Angela Armstrong, who lost her mother Linda, centered on the “ripple effect” of her mother’s death on her life and society as well as the “guilt” she felt for not having listened more to her mother, a New Zealander who converted to Islam.

Armstrong hoped that the “ripple effect” of the attack would at some point reach the supremacist terrorist for the “crimes against humanity” committed by the Australian, who arrived in New Zealand in 2017.

Linda Armstrong’s nephew, Kyron Gosse, called the defendant “a coward who hid behind his big powerful guns” and said he had “not received an apology nor sign of remorse for his despicable actions” in New Zealand, a country that was not his own.

Although Gosse remarked that he had no desire for revenge, he asked the judge to ensure that “this man never ever can hurt any living soul.”

For her part, Ambreen Naeem, whose testimony was read out on her behalf, said that the punishment against the accused “should continue forever,” expressing the pain she feels for the loss of her husband, Naeem Rashidi, who died trying to stop Tarrant, and her eldest son, Talha Naeem, who was also killed in the attack.

The impact statements of survivors and families of the victims came one after the other, explaining the impact of the incident on their lives while noting that the terrorist act had led to more global tolerance.

“I have strengthened my voice and ability to speak up when it matters, for the sake of social justice. After the events of March 15, I don’t have to hide my faith at work anymore,” said Junaid Ismail, who lost his brother Raesh.

Tarrant, who avoided a six-week trial after pleading guilty in March, is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without parole. EFE


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