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You can watch a thematic videoChristchurch Shooting Suspect Brenton Tarrant Pleads Not Guilty to Mosque Attacks
New Zealand mosque gunman unmoved as sentencing begins
The sentencing of a gunman who killed 51 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand's worst mass shooting got the cottages vacation rentals siesta key Monday under tight security.
Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant showed little emotion as he appeared before the Christchurch High Court handcuffed and dressed in gray prison clothes.
Tarrant has pleaded guilty to 51 murder charges, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act.
Lawyers expect Tarrant to be the first person in New Zealand's history to be imprisoned for life without parole.
The hearing opened with prosecutors describing the attacks in a 26-page summary — the first detailed official account of what happened on that day.
On March 15, 2019, 29-year-old Tarrant shot worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers, live-streaming the act on social media. He had also uploaded a manifesto shortly before the shootings.
Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes said the gunman planned his attack at the city's Al Noor mosque for when the maximum number of people would be present. He had flown a drone over the grounds two months earlier, taking note of the location of entry and exit doors.
The first day of the four-day hearing was also a first opportunity for friends and relatives of the victims to confront the gunman.
Read more: New Zealand rejects US-style armed police squads
"You killed your own humanity, and I don't think the world will forgive you for your horrible crime,'' said Maysoon Salama, the mother of 33-year-old Atta Elayyan who was killed in the attacks.
"You thought you can break us," she added. "You failed miserably.''
High Court judge Cameron Mander is set to hear statements from 66 survivors over the four-day hearing. Tarrant will make his own submission ahead of the verdict.
Sentencing amid media restrictions
The media has been banned from live reporting the proceedings from the courtroom to ensure that any neo-Nazi propaganda from Tarrant, while he is in the dock, does not gain publicity.
Restrictions are also in place on what journalists can report. Any violation of those rules is likely to result in a contempt of court charge.
"The court has a duty, particularly in the context of offending against the Terrorism Suppression Act, to ensure it is not used as a platform. (and) to prevent it being used as a vehicle for further harm," he said.
Read more: Opinion: One year on, New Zealand struggles to make sense of mosque attacks
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it would be a difficult week for many: "I don't think there's anything I can say that is going to ease how traumatic that period is going to be," she told reporters.
There was a heavy police presence outside the courthouse early Monday, with sniffer dogs checking lines of court staff and media lining up at security points. Mental health experts were also on standby. Local media reported that snipers were stationed on the courthouse roof.
The proceedings are being translated live into eight languages to accommodate New Zealand's diverse Muslim community.
dvv/nm (AFP, Reuters)
Christchurch terror attack: High Court judge orders mental health test for suspect Brenton Tarrant before trial first national bank alaska foreclosures
Christchurch: A New Zealand judge on Friday ordered the accused Tarrant brenton court mosque gunman to undergo a mental health assessment to determine if he is fit to face trial for the murder of 50 Muslim worshippers. Alleged attacker Brenton Tarrant is facing 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges over the 15 March attacks on two mosques, which shocked the world and rattled normally peaceful New Zealand.
The 28-year-old Australian will be seen by two health assessors to determine "whether he is fit to stand trial or insane", High Court judge Cameron Mander ruled during a brief hearing in Christchurch. Tarrant appeared by an audio-visual link from Auckland, where he is being held in isolation in a maximum security prison following the deadliest massacre in modern New Zealand history. The suspect — a self-avowed white supremacist — sat motionless throughout the hearing. He was not required to enter a plea. Several relatives of victims were in the court getting their first glimpse of the man charged with the massacre.
Brenton Tarrant being produced in court. ANI
"(I) just want to see what he has to say, what sort of feeling he's got, (his) emotion, to see what his reaction is, good or bad," Yama Nabi, whose 71-year-old father was killed, told Radio New Zealand outside the court. Tarrant was remanded in custody until his next court appearance on 14 June. Ahead of the shooting, Tarrant posted a 74-page manifesto on social media in which he identified himself by name and described himself as a white supremacist out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Tarrant brenton court. He live-streamed himself as he opened fire in the packed Al Noor mosque during Friday prayers and then travelled across town to continue the carnage in the suburban Linwood mosque.
Tarrant was initially charged with one murder count as a holding measure when he made his first court appearance a day after the killings. However, the charges were updated Friday to include the names of all 50 who died in the attack and 39 others who were wounded. Tarrant had sacked a court-appointed lawyer after his first court appearance, raising fears he wanted to represent himself and attempt to use any trial as a propaganda platform. However, two Auckland lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, appeared in court on his behalf.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the mosque slaughter a well-planned "terrorist attack" and took immediate steps to tighten the country's gun laws. The government has also said it will review laws dealing with hate speech.
Updated Date: April 05, 2019 08:59:31 ISTИсточник: https://www.firstpost.com/world/christchurch-terror-attack-high-court-judge-orders-mental-health-test-for-suspect-brenton-tarrant-before-trial-begins-6392561.html
Mosque attacks suspect gives "white power" sign in Christchurch court
An Australian man accused of killing 49 people in 2 New Zealand mosques smiled and gave a "white power" sign during his court appearance Saturday morning local time, witnesses say.
The details: Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, did not enter a plea when he appeared in Christchurch District Court, charged with the murder of one person who was killed in Friday's attacks in the most populous city on New Zealand's South Island. Only the media was allowed to watch proceedings and the judge ordered the suspect's face to be blurred. Reporters attending the proceedings said they saw Tarrant smile and make an upside-down "OK" gesture, which is a symbol used by white power groups.
The big picture: Police will allege the suspect was equipped to continue when police stopped him, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Police still have 2 other people in custody they arrested in connection with the attacks, but they have released a 4th person.
What she's saying: "The offender was mobile," Ardern said at a press conference. "There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in, and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack."
What's next? Police said more charges were likely to be laid. Tarrant is due to appear again on April 5.
Families of victims gunned down at two New Zealand mosques urged a judge to impose the toughest possible sentence, life without parole, on the gunman as he showed no remorse and appeared to smirk at one survivor during a sentencing hearing on Tuesday.
Mirwais Waziri, who was wounded during the 2019 attack at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque, put aside his prepared court statement and addressed white supremacist Tarrant brenton court Tarrant directly, after seeing that he did not have “any regrets, any shame in his eyes”.
“He does not regret anything,” said Waziri in the High Court in Christchurch on day two of the sentencing hearings.
“Today you are called terrorist and you proved to the world that us Muslims are not terrorists. I say to the people of New Zealand that terrorist do not have religion, race and colour,” said Waziri,” whose words drew applause from the public gallery.
Nathan Smith, originally from Britain and a survivor of the Al Noor mosque shooting, also spoke directly to Tarrant who sat in grey prison clothes cornered by guards.
“When you get a free minute, which you will have plenty of. Funny, eh? Very funny. Maybe you should try to read the Koran. It’s beautiful,” he said, reacting to Tarrant’s apparent smirk.
Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to 51 murders, 40 attempted murders and one charge of committing a tarrant brenton court act during the 2019 shooting rampage in the city of Christchurch which he livestreamed on Facebook.
Prosecutors have told the court Tarrant carefully planned the attacks to cause maximum carnage by accumulating high-powered firearms and ammunition, training at rifle clubs and studying mosque layouts.
A murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. The judge can impose a life term without parole, a sentence that has never been used in New Zealand.
Farisha Razak said in a recorded message that Tarrant did not deserve any leniency after killing her father, Ashraf Ali, who was visiting New Zealand from Fiji.
“You made a game out of people’s lives,” said Razak.
“You should not even be granted parole - ever.”
Zuhair Darwish, who lost his brother Kamel, said Tarrant should receive the harshest possible sentence.
“I know in New Zealand law they have removed the death penalty for humans, but unfortunately he’s not a human,” Darwish said.
The second day of a multi-day sentencing hearing was dedicated to allowing survivors and family members of victims to address the court, in person and via video.
Tarrant, who is representing himself, will be allowed to speak at some point during the tarrant brenton court, although Judge Cameron Mander has powers to ensure the High Court is not used as a platform for extremist ideology.
While most of Tarrant’s victims were at Al Noor mosque, he killed seven people at the Linwood mosque, before being detained en route to a third.
The daughter of a woman killed in the Linwood mosque challenged Tarrant to use tarrant brenton court life in prison to consider the beauty of the diversity and freedom he sought to destroy.
“While I have pity for your mum, I have no emotion for you. You are nothing,” said Angela Armstrong, daughter of 65-year-old victim Linda Armstrong.
“While he will remain trapped in a cage my mum is free. I therefore challenge Tarrant to use his remaining lifetime to consider the beauty and life to be tarrant brenton court in diversity and freedom that he sought to distort and destroy.”
Kyron Gosse, nephew of Linda Armstrong, said the shooter had come to New Zealand as a guest, and used that privilege to destroy a family that had lived here for seven generations.
“Filled with his own racist agenda this coward hid behind his big powerful guns and shot little old Linda from afar,” said Gosse.
Tarrant “stole our nation’s innocence”, said Gosse. New Zealand had been relatively free from major gun violence until the country’s worst mass shooting.
Live reporting from the courtroom was banned, and other restrictions were put in place on what the media could report.
The hearings were adjourned until Wednesday morning.
Reporting by Praveen Menon.
Survivors to face New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant at sentencing
What Aya Al-Umari faces her brother's killer in the dock, she intends to tell him that his hatred stole away her best friend, her guardian, her hero
She still wants to pick up the phone and tell her brother all about her day, because he's the only one who would understand.
Al-Umari is one of more than 60 survivors and family members who this week in court will confront the white supremacist who committed the worst atrocity in New Zealand's modern history, when he slaughtered 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques in March 2019.
The gunman, 29-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, pleaded guilty in March to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism — the first terrorism conviction in the nation's tarrant brenton court has dismissed his lawyers and intends to represent himself during the four-day sentencing starting Monday (local time), raising fears he could try to use the occasion as a platform to promote his racist views.
He can choose to speak once the victims have spoken, although the judge will likely shut down any attempts he makes to grandstand.
Tarrant could become the first person in New Zealand to be sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
New Zealand abolished the death penalty for murder in 1961, and the longest sentence imposed since then has been life imprisonment with a minimum 30-year non-parole period.
The attacks targeting people praying at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques shocked the nation and prompted new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons.
They also prompted global changes to social media protocols after the gunman livestreamed his attack on Facebook, where it was viewed by hundreds of thousands of tarrant brenton court victims have travelled from abroad to attend the court hearing and have completed a mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed because of the coronavirus.
Virus distancing requirements mean the number of survivors in the main courtroom will be limited to 35 at any one time. But the hearing will also be streamed to seven adjacent courtrooms, which can hold another 200 or so people.
Judge Cameron Mander wheres the nearest keybank he realised the court process had been "exhausting and frustrating" for many of the victims.
"Finality and closure is considered by some as the best means of bringing relief to the Muslim community," he wrote in a court memo.
Judge Mander is not allowing live reporting from the sentencing tarrant brenton court has reserved the right to ban some things that are said in court from being broadcast or published. The victims also can choose to remain anonymous.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was praised around the world for her empathy and leadership after the attacks, said she would be monitoring the hearing closely. She said the sentencing would be hard for the victims.
"I don't think there is much that I can say that is going to ease just how traumatic that period's going to be," she said.