Christchurch mosque gunman faces sentencing hearing

FILE PHOTO: Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019. Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Pool via REUTERS

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch last year will be facing survivors of the attack in a sentencing hearing which takes place on Monday.

The 29-year-old Australian man had originally pleaded not guilty to committing 51 murders and 40 attempted murders, as well as to a charge of terrorism, but changed his plea last March.

Brenton Tarrant faces a minimum sentence of 17 years, but is likely to be jailed for life.

Over 60 persons are set to testify at the hearing, which is expected to last 4 days. A number travelled from overseas to do so, thus needing to spend two weeks in quarantine in line with New Zealand’s anti-coronavirus measures.

The attacks were carried out on the afternoon of 15 March, 2019, with the gunman first entering the Al Noor Mosque, the first mosque to be built in New Zealand’s South Island, before moving on to the Linwood Islamic Centre.