The 28-year-old Brenton Harrison Tarrant who is accused of Christchurch terror shooting 50 people in two mosques in New Zealand,a sickening attack on the Al Noor and Linwood mosques that he live-streamed and shared to Facebook on March has been charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.
The Australian-born man is due to appear in the High Court at Christchurch on Friday.If Mr. Tarrant is found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison without parole. No one in New Zealand has ever received that sentence, but judges have the right to impose it for particularly heinous murders since New Zealand does not have the death penalty.
The judge presiding over the case said the hearing will mainly be about Tarrant’s legal representation. Tarrant has said he wants to represent himself, and he will not be required to enter a plea.
“The principal purpose of the call on April 5 will be to ascertain the defendant’s position regarding legal representation and to receive information from the Crown regarding certain procedural steps and when it is envisaged those steps will be completed,” Judge Cameron Mander said in court minutes.
He has previously requested to represent himself in court, and in his last court appearance he smirked and gave a white supremacist sign with his hand.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern moved swiftly to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons, and it is considering putting restrictions on social media. described the shootings as a ‘terrorist attack’, and said it was ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’.