The confessed author of the March 2019 supremacist attack against two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, in which 51 people died, will know his sentence on August 24, judicial sources announced Friday.
Australian Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty on March 26 to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism for the attack, carried out on March 15 of last year, and is awaiting the sentence of jail against him, although the hearing was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Judge Cameron Mander, of the New Zealand High Court, reported today that the reading of the sentence will begin on August 24 in the city of Christchurch and could be extended for three days or more if necessary, according to the court document obtained by Efe .
The 29-year-old assailant, who is being held in an Auckland city jail, faces a life sentence for each of the murders, among other penalties on the other charges.
Tarrant, who initially claimed to be innocent, pleaded guilty at an unscheduled hearing in which he appeared by videoconference and thus avoided filing a lawsuit with allegations from both parties.
“Now, in the absence of local transmission of the COVID-19 virus in New Zealand, our courts have returned to normal operations. The public, especially victims and families in New Zealand, can attend court hearings,” Judge Mander remarked.
The magistrate explained that the date set for the sentence will allow “making the necessary arrangements” to authorize the entry of people who are abroad, including those who are not residents or citizens of New Zealand, a country that has closed its borders. to foreigners by COVID-19.
The Australian supremacist deliberately and semi-automatically shot dozens of Muslims who had come to Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch for their traditional Friday prayer, in a city characterized by its low level of crime.
Tarrant, who broadcast part of the attacks on social media and posted his supremacist ideology on the internet, is the first person to be charged with terrorism since the Terror Suppression Act was enacted in New Zealand following the September 11, 2001 attacks in U.S.
Since the attack in Christchurch, the New Zealand Government has taken several measures such as a semi-automatic gun ownership reform and pushed social media regulations globally to prevent the spread of hate messages, while creating a special commission to investigate acts.