Christchurch shooting suspect gunman to face 50 murder charges
By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 04, Apr 2019, 11:38 am IST | UPDATED: 04, Apr 2019, 11:38 am IST
Christchurch: New Zealand police on Thursday said that the man accused of carrying out the Christchurch mosque attacks last month will face 50 murder charges when he appears in court this week.
"The man arrested in relation to the Christchurch terror attacks will face 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in the High Court in Christchurch on Friday," police said in a statement to AFP.
Seven Indians including a woman were among the 50 people killed in the Christchurch terror attacks when a white supremacist opened fire at two mosques full of worshipers attending Friday prayers in New Zealand.
The mass shooting took place in the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city's outer suburb on Friday. The attacker, identified by authorities as Australia-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, reportedly targeted immigrants during Friday prayers. Witnesses said victims were shot at close range.
The March 15 rampage by a white supremacist gunman has been a shock to the collective system. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's government announced an immediate ban on military-style semi-automatic rifles (MSSAs) after the shooting and will put laws to parliament formalising its action.
New Zealand has no death penalty and alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant, 28, is expected to face a record prison sentence if found guilty of the massacre. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, criminal lawyer Simon Cullen told media, adding that such a sentence would be "unprecedented" for New Zealand.