Christchurch, MINA – Australian men accused of murdering dozens of Muslim worshipers in two mosques in New Zealand in March last year filed a shocking plea of all 51 counts of murder at a special Christchurch court session on Thursday, March 26.
Brenton Tarrant, who appeared via a video link, pleaded guilty to 50 counts of attempted murder and one count of committing terrorist acts.
The 29-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to face trial in June, Al Jazeera reported.
According to the court’s statement, Judge Cameron Mander said in a few minutes of the trial, the entry of a guilty plea was a very significant step to bring to the end of this criminal justice process.
The worst mass shooting in New Zealand occurred on March 15 last year, when a single attacker fired on Muslims who attended Friday prayers in Christchurch and broadcast their attacks live on Facebook.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said pleading guilty might give relief to the families of those killed and those who survived the attack.
“A statement of guilt will provide some help to many people whose lives were ruined by what happened on March 15,” Ardern said in a statement.
The gunman was held in custody until the next court appearance on May 1. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)