New Zealand’s First Terrorism Conviction Now Underway

Christchurch mosque shooter had pleaded guilty of 51 counts of murder.

Sohil Nikam

August 24, 2020

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2 min

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Under heavy security, New Zealand’s first-ever terrorism conviction is underway more than a year after a gruesome incident in Christchurch saw a gunman entering a mosque and opening fire at the worshippers inside. 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, who hails from Australia, has pleaded guilty of 51 counts of murder, 40 attempted murders and one charge of terrorism. He now faces life in prison, possibly without parole. Such a sentence has never before been imposed in New Zealand before. It can be noted that death penalty has been abolished since long in the South Pacific country.

Families of the victims of his act of terrorism will be coming face to face with the perpetrator during the hearings. “There is no word that can explain the atrocity of what we went through but it’s something that we have to do. [For] The majority of it, I’ll be addressing the judge and then right at the end, I’ll be addressing the killer,” Aya Al-Umari, one of the victim’s sister said. The judge is likely to grant him permission to speak amidst concerns that he will use the occasion to promote his racist views.

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