Monday, 06 April, 2020


Christchurch shooting: Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to attacks in New Zealand

Brenton Tarrant has pleaded guilty to thee Christchurch mosque shootings Accused Christchurch mosque attacker who live-streamed killing spree changes plea to guilty
Bennie Garza | 26 March, 2020, 04:37

The Australian man accused of the attacks on two New Zealand mosques past year entered a surprise guilty plea in a Christchurch court on Thursday to 51 charges of murder, local media reported.

Brenton Tarrant changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in an appearance by audio-visual link in the High Court at Christchurch this morning.

The trial, which was scheduled for June, has now been canceled, and a sentencing date has yet to be confirmed. The violence prompted lawmakers to ban most semi-automatic weapons and the government held nationwide gun buyback programs.

He also pleaded guilty to 40 charges of attempted murder and a terrorism charge, TVNZ said.

"Police appreciate this news will come as a surprise to the victims and the public, some of whom may have wished to be present in the courtroom", he said in a statement.

"Honestly, I'm still trying to process what just happened", said Aya Al-Umari, whose brother Hussein was killed in the attack on the Al Noor mosque.

The gunman reversing his plea means the trial, which lawyers expected to stretch on for six weeks, will no longer take place. Tarrant faces life imprisonment, with the judge having some discretion in deciding the minimum number of years Tarrant must serve before becoming eligible for parole.

The plea came with New Zealand in its first day of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown.

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