The man who perpetrated one of the most heinous massacres in Europe’s recent memory has pled guilty to a 51 count of murder and 41 count of attempted murder brought against him by the government of New Zealand.
Brenton Tarrant, originally from Australian changed his initial plea of not guilty to guilty yesterday. The 29 year old white nationalist was scheduled to go to trial in June, this year.
The convicted terrorist appeared through a videolink with his lawyers, as the court was scaled-down due to shutdowns necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The court gallery was empty except for the representative of the Mosque where the massacre occurred last March.
“It is regrettable that the Covid-19 restrictions do not permit victims and their families to travel to be present in the courtroom when the defendant entered his pleas of guilty.” Judge Justice Mander said.
Mr. Tarrant was remanded in prison until May 1, as sentencing on the 92 charges was delayed for a later date.
A husband to one of the victims, Farid Ahmed who lost his wife Husna said he was glad the accused didn’t put his family through the ordeal of going through a trial.
In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, Tarrant, armed with semi-automatic weapons methodically went from room to room as he targeted muslims attending friday Juma’at prayers on March 15, 2019.
Two mosques were targeted in total. The Al-Noor mosque, where 42 were shot and the Linwood Mosque were 7 more met their ultimate end.
Mr. Tarrant is reportedly locked up solitary confinement for his safety.