New Zealand mosque shooter changes plea to guilty

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court today via audio-visual link and pleaded guilty to all charges

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court today via audio-visual link and pleaded guilty to all charges

The Australian man accused of the attacks on two New Zealand mosques a year ago entered a surprise guilty plea in a Christchurch court on Thursday to 51 charges of murder, local media reported. After hearing the guilty pleas, Judge Justice Mander entered convictions "on each and every" charge.

"I'm happy that he has accepted that he is guilty", Atacocugu said.

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

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The judge said advance reporting that Thursday's hearing was taking place was suppressed in case Tarrant changed his mind at the last minute and maintained his innocence.

The trial, which was scheduled for June, has now been canceled, and a sentencing date has yet to be confirmed.

A woman prepares to place flowers at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 13, 2020. The lockdown meant Tarrant appeared in the court via video link from his jail cell in Auckland and only a handful of people were allowed inside the courtroom. "It is a good start". The killing spree was the deadliest in New Zealand's modern history and prompted the government to rush through new laws banning most semi-automatic weapons.

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