New Zealand man jailed for sharing Christchurch mass shooting video

Philip Arps has previously been convicted for offensive behaviour linked to his neo-Nazi beliefs

Philip Arps stands in the dock at the District Court in Christchurch, New Zealand. AP
Philip Arps stands in the dock at the District Court in Christchurch, New Zealand. AP

A New Zealand man was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for distributing videos of a massacre at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

The lone gunman who killed 51 people in New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting on March 15 broadcast the massacre live on Facebook.

Philip Arps, 44, pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material after sharing copies of the live-streamed video with about 30 people, Radio New Zealand said.

Arps also shared a video that was modified to add crosshairs and a body count to the images of the massacre.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said that when Arps was asked for his opinion of the video, he replied it was "awesome".

"It is clear from all the material before me that you have strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim community," Mr O'Driscoll said during the sentencing.

New Zealand's government has outlawed sharing videos of the massacre, which is punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

A self-described white supremacist, Arps was charged with offensive behaviour and fined NZ$800 (Dh1,909) in 2016 after he delivered a bloodied pig's head to Al Noor mosque, court documents showed.

The mosque was among the two targeted in the March massacre.

Last week, Australian Brenton Tarrant pleaded not guilty to 92 charges stemming from the massacre in the two mosques and will stand trial in May next year.

Updated: June 19, 2019 04:39 AM


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