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AFP
July 14, 2020

New Zealand mosque shooter to represent himself at sentencing

World

AFP
July 14, 2020

WELLINGTON: The gunman behind New Zealand´s Christchurch mosque shootings sacked his lawyers Monday and opted to represent himself, raising fears he would use a sentencing hearing next month to promote his white-supremacist views. Australian national Brenton Tarrant will be sentenced on August 24 on 51 murder convictions, 40 of attempted murder and one of terrorism arising from last year´s massacre, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand´s modern history. He has pleaded guilty to the charges. At a pre-sentencing hearing on Monday, High Court judge Cameron Mander allowed Tarrant´s lawyers, Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, to withdraw from proceedings at the request of their client. However, the judge ordered “standby counsel” to be available next month in case Tarrant — who appeared in the Christchurch court via video link from an Auckland prison — changes his mind.