Christchurch gunman appeals life sentence
For many in Christchurch, a city of nearly 370,000, the verdict was a chance to heal from the shooting. In 2020, Tarran pleaded guilty after a an unexpected reversal of his original requestbut he has now appealed both On Tuesday, New Zealand’s Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and sentence.
“Rather, this is a blatant and calculated attempt to re-injure the victims of Christchurch in particular and the nation as a whole. This shows that the March 15 terrorist has no remorse,” the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) said in an emailed statement. FIANZ says Tarrant is trying to “gain notoriety and in the process milk our justice platforms for hate speech” as well as “gain new followers to their cause of hate”.
Gamal Fuda, the imam of the Al Noor mosque, one of the two mosques targeted in the massacre, said he was “struggling to understand” why Tarrant was appealing the sentence after pleading guilty.
“I can’t help but think that this is another act by this terrorist to harm his victims again by keeping the memory of him and his acts of terror alive,” Fuda wrote on Facebook. note:.
He said he believed the appeal would “cause significant trauma in our community”.
The court clerk said that the complaint will be heard orally, but the date of the hearing has not yet been set. The court did not immediately grant the record request for notice of appeal.
Local News Stuff.co.nz reports Last year, Tarrant claimed he pleaded guilty under duress when he was “subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment” preventing a fair trial, citing a recent memo by human rights lawyer Tony Ellis. When reached by The Washington Post, Ellis declined to comment, saying he no longer represents Tarrant.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declined to comment on a call to reporters, saying she was committed to not naming the gunman. “His is a story that should not be told and his is a name that should not be repeated,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “I’m going to apply the same rule when commenting on his attempts to revive people. We should not give him anything.’
In the days following the 2019 massacre, Ardern made a promise change the country’s gun laws. Within weeks, a permanent ban on a number of weapons went into effect. New Zealand’s legislative response to the mass shooting drew stark comparisons to the United States, where gun legislation failed amid Republican opposition.
Authorities say the Christchurch shooter explained his actions in a manifesto that stems from a “great replacement” story. racist theory that maintains a native born Whites are being deliberately displaced as the ethnic majority in their own nations. The theory was also present in the scratches left by shooters in El Paso in 2019 and Buffalo earlier this year.
Temel Atakokugu, one of the survivors of the attack, told The New Zealand Herald responded to the appeal that Tarrant was “trying not to forget”.
“He does these things to keep reminding the public that ‘I’m still here,'” Atakokugu said, adding: “It won’t work, and he will stay. [in prison] forever.”
Michael Feola contributed to this report.
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