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Christchurch mosque attacker to represent himself at sentencing – The Guardian

Australian man who pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder will be sentenced in August



The Australian man who pleaded guilty to killing 51 Muslims in a terrorist attack in Christchurch in March 2019 has chosen to represent himself at his sentencing next month.
Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty in March to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and a terrorism charge after dozens of worshipers were gunned down at two mosques in New Zealand last year.
He appeared to have posted a white supremacist manifesto online before the attack, which was live-streamed on Facebook.
At a briefing hearing in the high court at Christchurch on Monday morning, Tarrants lawyers confirmed they were withdrawing their state-funded representation of him.
Tarrant appeared by audio-visual link from his maximum-security prison in Auckland.
Because Mr Tarrant wishes to represent himself at sentencing, I will be appointing a lawyer to fulfil the role of standby counsel, said Justice Cameron Mander, in a statement. The role of standby counsel is to assist the defendant if and to the extent the defendant wishes to accept that counsels assistance.
Aya Al-Umari, whose brother Hussein Al-Umari was killed at al Noor mosque, said the gunmans decision to represent himself was a bid for attention. It is a tactic to want to stay relevant in the news by any means he can, she told the Guardian.
Tarrant will be sentenced on 24 August, and faces the possibility of life in prison without chance for parole a term no one in New Zealand has received before.
The sentencing is expected to be lengthy scheduled to take three days as dozens of his victims and the bereaved families are likely to give statements.

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