WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND —
The gunman who killed 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is contemplating interesting his convictions and jail sentence, his lawyer mentioned Monday.
Australian Brenton Tarrant was topic to inhumane and degrading therapy in jail, prompting him to plead responsible below duress, lawyer Tony Ellis wrote in a memo to the chief coroner.
Tarrant, a white supremacist, livestreamed the 2019 assaults on Fb. It was the worst atrocity in New Zealand’s fashionable historical past and prompted lawmakers to swiftly ban the deadliest sorts of semiautomatic weapons.
Final 12 months earlier than his trial was because of start, Tarrant pleaded responsible to all expenses, together with 51 counts of homicide, 40 counts of tried homicide and one rely of terrorism. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with out the potential of parole, the hardest sentence obtainable in New Zealand.
The lawyer’s memo was not instantly made publicly obtainable Monday. Ellis mentioned the gunman had approved him to debate the case with solely two native media shops, RNZ and Stuff.
The coroner’s workplace didn’t instantly launch a replica of the memo, referring requests again to Ellis. However the coroner’s workplace didn’t dispute the memo’s existence or the characterization of it by the media shops.
RNZ reported that Ellis had suggested his shopper to attraction his sentence and convictions on the idea that his rights had been breached, and that Tarrant was contemplating such an attraction.
Ellis mentioned the gunman was held in solitary confinement for a lot of the time whereas awaiting his trial and lacked correct entry to attorneys, data and documentation about his case.
The gunman informed his lawyer that his therapy in jail affected his “will to hold on” and had determined the only approach out was to plead responsible, RNZ reported.
The memo got here after Chief Coroner Deborah Marshall’s workplace final month opened an inquiry into the deaths of the victims, the newest in a sequence of probes into the assaults.
Rosemary Omar, whose 24-year-old son Tariq was gunned down at Al Noor mosque, informed RNZ that the gunman’s claims have been nothing greater than him looking for additional consideration.