Wellington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 26th Mar, 2020 ) :In an unexpected reversal, the Australian accused of murdering 51 Muslim worshippers in last year’s mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques pleaded guilty to all charges on Thursday.
Tarrant, wearing a grey top, stared intently at the camera while making his plea.
No reason was given for the change, which means Tarrant will no longer stand trial, a process authorities had feared he would use as a platform to promote his racist ideology.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the admission of guilt would provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered in the attack.
“These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” she said.
“The guilty pleas represent a very significant step towards bringing finality to this criminal proceeding,” he said.
The plea came with New Zealand in its first day of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown.
Mander said sentencing would take place “at a time when victims and their families can attend the court in person”, he said.
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.