Justice Cameron Mander sentences Brenton Tarrant at the High Court in Christchurch, New Zealand [John Kirk-Anderson/Pool via Reuters]
A court in New Zealand has sentenced a self-confessed white supremacist who killed 51 Muslims as they prayed at two mosques in Christchurch to life imprisonment without parole, the first time such a sentence has been handed down in the country.
Brenton Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, pleaded guilty earlier this year to 51 charges of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the 2019 shooting rampage in the southern city, which he livestreamed on Facebook.
In delivering the sentence, High Court Judge Cameron Mander said on Thursday that a finite term was insufficient for such a crime, and that Tarrant had shown no remorse.
“Your crimes are so wicked that even if you are detained until you die it will not exhaust the requirements of punishment and denunciation,” Mander said.
“As far as I can discern, you are empty of any empathy for your victims.”
Prosecutors told the court at the opening of the sentencing hearing on Monday that Tarrant had been planning the attacks for a long time and wanted to create fear among migrants.
The killer represented himself at the hearing and said through a lawyer in court on Thursday that he did not oppose the sentence.
Al Jazeera and news agencies