The Australian shooter who attacked Mosque and killed 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court on Thursday. With this order, he becomes the first person in the country to get a life sentence without any possible parole.
Cameron Mander, the Christchurch high court judge, added in his remarks that a finite term would not be sufficient for the crimes he carried out. Mander said he has handed down an unprecedented sentence in the legal history of New Zealand.
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The Judge said to the killer that he deliberately killed a three years-old-infant as he clung to his father’s leg. The sentencing comes three days after emotional statements from the families of the victims in the court.
Throughout the proceedings, the killer was almost emotionless and listened to the Quranic verses and statements by the survivors and victims’ families, as they gave harrowing testimonies of what was country’s worst terror attack like and how it has impacted their lives.
Meanwhile, the Australian national, 29, admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder, and one charge of terrorism outside two Mosques in the city of Christchurch. He live-streamed the attack on a social media platform and also posted a manifesto online just before the shooting. According to reports, he also sent the manifesto to the country’s top politicians, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Mark Zarifeh, the crown’s prosecutor, said that the crime has no comparison in the criminal history of New Zealand. He further added that the cowardly attack was motivated by a xenophobic and racist ideology. Mark said
in my submission, the offender is New Zealand’s worst murderer,”
The crown prosecutor added that life imprisonment was the only suitable punishment for such a criminal. Last month, the mass murderer had sacked his legal team intending to represent himself. Meanwhile, he waved off his right speak at the sentencing and instead made a brief statement before the sentencing through a court-appointed lawyer.
This has also raised concerns among many that he might use the platform to preach his extremist ideology. However, many families of the victims have called on the court to give the murderer the harshest possible punishment.
But the New Zealand law does not have the death penalty, though the severity of the crime has prompted many people to call for just that. On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also welcomed the sentence and acknowledged the strength of the country’s Muslim community.
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