17 months after killing 51 Muslims, NZ court sentences ‘white supremacist to life imprisonment without parole’

Seventeen months after killing 51 Muslims and injuring 40 others after firing indiscriminately on devotees, who were praying at two mosques in Christchurch, the New Zealand court has sentenced a “self-confessed white supremacist” to life imprisonment without parole.

The court of the country, in first such decision, has said the crimes of the attacker are so wicked that even his death cannot fulfil the requirements of punishment.

Brenton Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, pleaded guilty earlier this year to “51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act” during the March 2019 rampage in the southern city, which he livestreamed on Facebook, an international news organisation Aljazeera reported.

Quoting High Court Judge Cameron Mander while delivering the sentence on Thursday, the report said that a finite term was insufficient for such a crime and that Tarrant had shown no remorse.

“Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation,” Mander was quoted by the report as having said.

“As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims,” he added.

In this regard, Prosecutors, according to the report, have told the court at the opening of the sentencing hearing on Monday that Tarrant had been planning the attacks for a long time and wanted to create fear among immigrants.

However, the killer has not opposed to the sentence neither showed any reaction to it.

“The hatred that lies at the heart of your hostility to particular members of the community that you came to this country to murder has no place here – it has no place anywhere,” the judge said.

Following the court decision, many of the people who survived the attack and those in relation to the ones who lost their lives in the brutal attack, have taken a sigh of relief.

Soon after the sentencing the attacker, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed the verdict saying that attacker deserved a lifetime of “complete and utter silence”.

“The trauma of March 15 is not easily healed but today I hope is the last where we have any cause to hear or utter the name of the terrorist behind it,” international news agency AFP quoted Ardern as saying.


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