New Zealand’s Christchurch mosque attacker sentenced to life imprisonment

Sakal Times News Desk
Thursday, 27 August 2020

Following the mass shooting, Tarrant was sentenced by High Court in Christchurch on Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole. This is the first time such a sentence has been handed down in the country's courts.

Last year, Brenton Tarrant triggered the whole world by shooting 51 Muslims during the Friday prayer at two Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The 29-year man was earlier admitted of 40 attempted murders and one charge of terrorism.

Following the mass shooting, Tarrant was sentenced by High Court in Christchurch on Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison with no chance of parole. This is the first time such a sentence has been handed down in the country's courts.

"If he still has any human feeling, he will die in guilt and remorse," said Gamal Fouda, the imam of Al Noor mosque, where Mr Tarrant killed 44 people. "I think he will die out of loneliness, thinking about what he did to us and his mother, his grandmother, his family."

Tyrant represented himself at the hearing and chose not to address the court but instructed the lawyer Pip Hall to speak on his behalf. Pip Hall was quoted saying, "Mr Tarrant does not oppose the application. He should be sentenced to life in prison without parole."

The sentence was handed down by Justice Cameron Mander to the courtroom of total silence after three consecutive intense days of heartbreaking and defiant testimony by victims.

"As far as I am able to gauge you are empty of any empathy to your victims," Mander added. "You have said you were in a poisoned emotional state at the time, and terribly unhappy. You felt ostracized by society and wanted to damage society as revenge."

As several victims confronted him, Tarrant sat silently, gazing with no emotion at those he tried to kill or terrorise. Mark Zarifeh, a prosecutor told the court that Tarrant had accepted responsibility for his actions, out of pride, not remorse.

"Your actions were inhuman," the judge told Mr Tarrant, He added, "To my observation, you remain entirely self-absorbed."

After his sentencing, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated that nothing would take away the pain of the attack. She mentioned, "Today I hope is the last where we have any cause to hear or utter the name of the terrorist behind it". She also said, "He deserves to be a lifetime of complete and utter silence."

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