Thursday, June 20, 2019, 12:17:43 AM

NZ mosque attacker charged with terrorism

International Desk | banglanews24.com
Update: 2019-05-21 12:47:13 PM
NZ mosque attacker charged with terrorism

The man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosques attack has been charged with terrorism, New Zealand police have said.

Brenton Tarrant was charged with "engaging in a terrorist act", police said in a statement on Tuesday.

He is already facing charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder following the attack on two mosques in the South Island city on 15 March.

The Australian is next due in court in June.

However, according to the Hywel Griffith in Sydney, there is a debate in New Zealand over the merits of treating the case under terrorism laws, as it may draw out the length of any trial, and potentially provide a platform for extremist views to be aired.

The attack was New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting, and saw MPs vote within weeks to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons in the country to prevent any such thing happening again.

Fifty people lost their lives in the shootings at two mosques in the city. One died in hospital later.

The suspect last appeared via video link in court in April. At that time, a judge ordered him to undergo mental health tests.

The self-proclaimed white supremacist - who allegedly outlined his intentions in a rambling and expletive-filled document online before carrying out the attack - has not yet been asked to enter a plea to the charges.

He is accused of shooting men, women and children as they prayed at two of Christchurch's mosques: the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.

The 28-year-old also live-streamed the attack from a head-mounted camera, leading New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern to spearhead an effort to get both governments and tech companies to improve their efforts to tackle extremist content.
BBC
BDST: 1243 HRS, MAY 21, 2019
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