Crime & Justice

Perpetrator of supremacist New Zealand attack calls for judicial review

Sydney, Australia, Apr 15 (EFE).- Brenton Tarrant, author of a supremacist attack on two mosques in 2019 in New Zealand, which killed 51 people, called for a review of his imprisonment conditions, but did not appear at the hearing set for Thursday at the Supreme Court.

Tarrant, sentenced in August on 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism, was to assume his defense at the preliminary hearing in the city of Auckland, where he is being held in solitary confinement in a maximum security prison.

The 30-year-old Australian complained about the lack of access to documents related to his case and told prison authorities Thursday morning he wanted the hearing to be postponed, according to the local TVNZ network.

At the hearing, Judge Geoffrey Venning said Tarrant, who had to confirm Thursday that he was assuming his defense, requested in a Feb. 27 letter that his status as a “terrorist entity” and access to correspondence and news be reviewed, according to the source.

The court said this petition will not affect the sentence imposed against Tarrant on the criminal or terrorism charges.

After learning about the legal appeal Tarrant filed, Rosemary Omar, whose son Tariq Omar was killed in the attack, told Radio New Zealand it was hard for her to accept this news, which comes in the middle of the month-long Ramadan fasting tradition.

Tarrant stormed the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in the city of Christchurch with semi-automatic and military-type weapons in March 2019, shooting at point-blank range at people, including children and the elderly, who were attending Friday prayer.

The attacker, who had published his supremacist ideology on social networks, also broadcast part of the incident live, which later led to a reform of gun ownership laws in New Zealand.

In December, the New Zealand government said mistakes had been made before the attack, including an “almost exclusive” attention to Islamic extremism to the detriment of the monitoring of individuals and supremacist groups.


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