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New Zealand Mosque Shooter Considers Appealing Life Sentence

Online Radio November 8, 2021 3


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The man who killed 51 Muslim worshippers at mosques in Christchurch is considering to appeal against his life sentence, adding that his guilty plea after the 2019 attack was done under duress, his lawyer told state radio on Monday.

White supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 31, was sentenced to jail for life without parole in 2020 for the murdering 51 people and attempting to murder 40 others at two mosques in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 which has been described as the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.

It was the first time a court in New Zealand had sentenced a person to prison for the rest of their life.

Tarrant’s lawyer, Tony Ellis, told Radio New Zealand he was advised by his client that he pleaded guilty last year because of “inhumane and degrading treatment” he experienced while awaiting trial.

The lawyer who only took over as Tarrant’s counsel recently, has made the claim on his client’s behalf in a memo to the coroner’s court that has opened an investigation into all areas of the Christchurch attack and whether due processes were followed.

“He said because of how he was treated while he was awaiting trial and afterwards, (that affected) his will to carry on and he decided that the simplest way out was to plead guilty,” Ellis said.

“By this, he means he was subject to inhuman or degrading treatment whilst on remand, which prevented a fair trial.”

According to Ellis, he had advised his client to appeal against his life sentence without parole, because it is what is called a “sentence of no hope” and breached the Bill of Rights, and he was considering it.

Tarrant, an Australian national, stormed two mosques in Christchurch armed with military-style semi-automatics, indiscriminately shooting at Muslims gathered for Friday prayers and livestreaming the killings using a head-mounted camera.

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