New Zealand mass murderer now pleads guilty
The killer who committed the worst atrocity in New Zealand’s modern history when he slaughtered 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques unexpectedly pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday.
The attacks targeting people praying on March 15 a year ago shocked the nation and prompted new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons. It also prompted global changes to social media protocols after the gunman livestreamed his attack on Facebook, where it was viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
The sudden turn in the case took survivors and relatives by surprise, and brought relief to people across New Zealand. Many had feared Australian white supremacist Brenton Harrison Tarrant would try to use his trial as a platform to promote his views. He’d outlined those views in a 74-page manifesto he published online just before the attacks.
Tarrant, 29, pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism at the Christchurch High Court.
He had previously pleaded not guilty and his trial had been scheduled to start in June.
He has been convicted of all charges. Tarrant is the first person convicted of terrorism in New Zealand under laws passed after 9/11.
He will be sentenced at a later date.