Crime & Justice

New Zealand mosque attacker sentenced to life in prison without parole

Sydney, Australia, Aug 27 (efe-epa).- The Australian man who confessed to committing the 2019 terror attack against two New Zealand mosques that killed 51 people was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Thursday.

This is the first time such a sentence has been imposed in the country.

“Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die, it would not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation,” Judge Cameron Mander of the Christchurch High Court told 29-year-old Brenton Tarrant.

Tarrant was convicted of 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism for the the massacre he carried out on Mar. 15, 2019 with semi-automatic rifles during Friday prayers at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch and which he partly streamed on Facebook.

The sentence was handed down after three days of Tarrant’s sentencing hearing, during which more than 90 survivors of the attacks and families of the victims testified before the court.

Tarrant, who had pleaded guilty to all charges in March, refused the right to speak at the hearing.

Judge Mander, who described the facts in detail and spoke about each of the victims, explained that the massacre Tarrant planned and perpetrated “has no place here no place anywhere.”

Tarrant was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 51 charges of murder, while each of the 40 counts of attempted murder resulted in a 12-year prison sentence and the one charge of committing a terrorist act another life sentence.

Mander’s unprecedented decision to impose life imprisonment without parole is based on a legislative reform introduced a decade ago for the most serious crimes of murder.

“If not here then when,” said the judge, who added that Tarrant declared his intention, through a court-appointed lawyer, to accept the maximum penalty but showed “no remorse” nor “acknowledgment” of the massacre he carried out with “callous indifference.”

““To my observation, you remain entirely self-absorbed,” the judge told Tarrant, who remained impassive throughout the process. EFE-EPA

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