Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 1 November 2020

New Zealand mosque attacker admits killing 51 Muslim worshippers

The Australian man went on a shooting rampage at two mosques

A general view of Christchurch High Court during the hearing in which the man accused of killing 51 people as they attended Friday prayers at mosques in the city last year changed his plea to guilty on 92 charges relating to New Zealand's worst mass shooting in history. Getty Image
A general view of Christchurch High Court during the hearing in which the man accused of killing 51 people as they attended Friday prayers at mosques in the city last year changed his plea to guilty on 92 charges relating to New Zealand's worst mass shooting in history. Getty Image

The far-right Australian terrorist who killed more than 50 people in the Christchurch massacre last year has pleaded guilty to the charges.

The 29 year old shot dead 51 Muslim worshippers in the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques last year.

On Thursday he pleaded guilty to all charges in an unexpected reversal.

He had previously denied 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one of engaging in a terrorist act, but changed his plea after a hurriedly arranged court hearing.

"Yes, guilty," he told Christchurch High Court by videolink from Auckland Prison.

Wearing a grey top, he stared intently at the camera while making his plea.

No reason was given for the change, which means he will no longer need to stand trial over the shooting.

Judge Cameron Mander recorded convictions on all charges and said the man would be sentenced at a date yet to be determined.

"The guilty pleas represent a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding," Mr Mander said.

The plea came with New Zealand in its first day of a four-week Covid-19 lockdown.

Mr Mander said sentencing would not take place until the court system had returned to normal, "at a time when victims and their families can attend the court in person".

Updated: April 6, 2020 03:45 AM

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