Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Christchurch mosque attacks: Gunman pleads guilty to all charges

The man due to go on trial for the 15 March Christchurch mosque attacks has this morning pleaded guilty to all the charges he was facing.

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

At the High Court in Christchurch, Brenton Tarrant admitted 51 of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Until today he had denied all of the charges and was scheduled to stand trial in June. The guilty plea means he has become New Zealand's first convicted terrorist.

The 29 year old showed no emotion as he appeared via audio visual link in the High Court at around 10am.

No explanation for Tarrant's change of heart was given during today's hearing. He has been remanded in custody until May.

No sentencing date has been set as the courts continue to grapple with widespread disruption from the Covid-19 outbreak.

On 15 March last year Tarrant walked into Al Noor Mosque, heavily armed, shortly after Jumu'ah - the most significant prayer of the week - began.

In little over six minutes he had killed 42 people.

About 10 minutes later he arrived at the Linwood Islamic Centre and, unable to find the entrance, began shooting from outside.

He killed seven people before he was chased from the mosque's grounds by worshipper Abdul Aziz, who picked up and threw a bank card reader at the gunman, and used one of Tarrant's own firearms as a spear which he threw through the terrorist's car windscreen.

A 50th victim died soon after in Christchurch Hospital, while the 51st victim passed away 48 days after the attacks.

At this morning's hearing only a small number of people were allowed into the courtroom due to the restrictions in place in the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown.

Those entering the courthouse were screened by security and court staff wearing protective masks.

The imams from the two mosques, Gamal Fouda and Abdul Alabi Lateef, acted as the Muslim community's representatives and watched as Tarrant entered his pleas.

Tarrant lived in almost total obscurity in Dunedin for almost two years before Friday, 15 March, 2019.

During that time he was part of an online fraternity of white supremacist, far-right extremists.

He had few connections in the city and was essentially a loner.

His family described how his hateful ideology appeared to form as he travelled the world following his father's death from cancer in 2010.

Tarrant travelled to the Balkans, Turkey and Pakistan, among other locations linked to the Crusades and the Islamic world, before the attack.

The murderer lived in the quiet Dunedin suburb of Andersons Bay and acquired a firearms licence and a Subaru Legacy station wagon soon after relocating to the city in 2017.

The four A-class firearms, bought using that licence, and the vehicle would be used to carry out last year's horrific attacks.

He practised shooting at the Bruce Rifle Club near Milton in South Otago, about 50 kilometres from Dunedin, for about a year in the lead-up to the attacks.

Tarrant identified Dunedin's Al Huda Mosque as the initial target for his attack before turning his attention to the two mosques in Christchurch and the mosque in Ashburton, where he expressed his anger at its utilisation of a former church.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Use Of Existing Drugs To Reduce The Effects Of Coronavirus

So now, we’re all getting up to speed with the travel bans, the rigorous handwashing and drying, the social distancing, and the avoidance of public transport wherever possible. Right. At a wider level…so far, the public health system has ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Oil Market And Regulation Crusades

Safe to say, Vladimir Putin did not expect the response he has received amidships from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. Earlier, Russia chose to walk away from the OPEC talks in Vienna that were aimed at reaching an agreement on how to reduce world oil production (and protect oil prices) in the light of the fall in demand being caused by the coronavirus. No doubt, Russia and its allies in the US shale industry probably glimpsed an opportunity to undercut OPEC and seize some of its customers. Bad move. In reply, Saudi Arabia has smashed the oil market by hugely ramping up production, signing up customers and drastically cutting the oil price in a fashion designed to knock Russia and other oil suppliers right out of contention. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On 22 Short Takes About Super Tuesday

With obvious apologies to the Simpsons….Here’s my 22 short takes on the 14 Super Tuesday primaries that combined yesterday to produce a common narrative –Bernie Sanders NOT running away with the nomination, Joe Biden coming back from the dead, and the really, really rich guy proving to be really, really bad at politics. In the months ahead, it will be fascinating to see if the real Joe Biden can live up to the idea of Joe Biden that people voted for yesterday – namely, the wise old guy who can save the country from the political extremism of the right and the left... More>>

Gordon Campbell On Shane Jones: A Liability No-One Needs To Bear

New Zealand First has needed a diversion after weeks of bad coverage over its dodgy handling of donations, but it really, really doesn’t need what Shane Jones has chosen to provide. According to Jones, New Zealand has ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Strong Man Legacies: Burying Mubarak

Reviled strongmen of one era are often the celebrated ones of others. Citizens otherwise tormented find that replacements are poor, in some cases even crueller, than the original artefact. Such strongmen also serve as ideal alibis for rehabilitation ... More>>

Caitlin Johnstone: Humanity Is Making A Very Important Choice When It Comes To Assange

The propagandists have all gone dead silent on the WikiLeaks founder they previously were smearing with relentless viciousness, because they no longer have an argument. The facts are all in, and yes, it turns out the US government is certainly and undeniably working to exploit legal loopholes to imprison a journalist for exposing its war crimes. That is happening, and there is no justifying it... More>>

Gail Duncan: Reframing Welfare Report

Michael Joseph Savage, the architect of the 1938 Social Security Act, wouldn’t recognise today’s Social Security Act as having anything to do with the kind, cooperative, caring society he envisioned 80 years ago. Instead society in 2020 has been reduced ... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Addiction To Chinese Student Fees

Last week, Australian PM Scott Morrison extended its ban on foreign visitors from or passing through from mainland China – including Chinese students - for a third week. New Zealand has dutifully followed suit, with our travel ban ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Coronavirus, And The Iowa Debacle

As Bloomberg says, the coronavirus shutdown is creating the world’s biggest work-from-home experiment. On the upside, the mortality rate with the current outbreak is lower than with SARS in 2003, but (for a number of reasons) the economic impact this time ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Dodging A Bullet Over The Transport Cost Over-Runs

As New Zealand gears up to begin its $6.8 billion programme of large scale roading projects all around the country, we should be aware of this morning’s sobering headlines from New South Wales, where the cost overruns on major transport projects ... More>>


 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog