New Zealand mosque killer pleads guilty
The Australian accused of killing 51 people in March 2019 in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, unexpectedly pleaded guilty on Thursday to all of the charges against him.
“Yes, guilty,” said Brenton Tarrant from Auckland prison, via video connection to the Christchurch High Court. Dressed in a gray top, the 29-year-old man fixed his gaze on the camera by making this statement.
He had so far always denied the 51 murder charges, the 40 attempted murder charges and one other terrorist act charge. Without explanation at this point, he changed position after a hastily organized hearing.
This means that he will not be tried during a trial. Justice Cameron Mander clarified that the accused would receive his conviction later, on an unspecified date.
“The guilty plea represents a very important step towards the finalization of this criminal procedure,” noted the judge, adding that the sentencing hearing would only occur when the pandemic of the new coronavirus is over in order to “allow victims and their families to come to court in person. ”
Brenton Tarrant, self-proclaimed white supremacist, is accused of having committed, in March 2019, the largest mass killing in modern New Zealand history.