New Zealand mosque attacker Brenton Tarrant to face survivors

Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who is responsible for killing 51 Muslim worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand will face the survivors and families of victims at his four day sentencing hearing that begins Monday.

Brenton Tarrant, New Zealand Mosque, Christchurch
New Zealand mosque attacker Brenton Tarrant to face survivors

The 29-year-old Brenton Tarrant is facing 51 murder charges, 40 of attempted murder and one act of terrorism after dropping his not guilty plea.

The four day sentencing will begin from Monday and police patrols in the area will be increased with mental health specialists on hand to support those affected by the incident.

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The hearing will take place at the courthouse in Christchurch, the city where Brenton Tarrant carried out the terrorist attack taking several lives in March 2019.

Over 60 people will give victim impact statements at the hearing including some of those who have traveled from overseas in time to undergo the two-week coronavirus quarantine in order to take part.

There will be hundreds more who will observe the proceeding via live video link from seven other courtrooms in Christchurch following social distancing measures.

However, the proceeding will not be shown live to the general public in order to prevent Brenton Tarrant from promoting extremism as he was previously caught trying to send coded messages using hand gestures at his first court appearance.

Brenton Tarrant faces up to life in prison with a non-parole period of 17 years however, the judge presiding over the hearing has the power to imprison him for life without the possibility of parole.

The white supremacist Brenton Tarrant attacked the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 killing 42 Muslim worshipers who gathered there for Friday prayers after which he drove to Linwood Islamic Centre where he continued the killing before being arrested by police.

Tarrant published a manifesto which he sent to all major politicians shortly before carrying out the attack which he live-streamed online prompting quick and swift action by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her government to revise gun laws in the country. Tarrant’s manifesto and the attack’s video were also banned by the authorities in New Zealand.

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