New Zealand mosque shootings: gunman stands for conviction after firing lawyers | News from the world

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The gunman who killed dozens of worshipers at two New Zealand mosques last year sacked his lawyers and will stand for re-conviction next month.

Australian white supremacist Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 29, pleaded guilty in March to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and 1 count of terrorism following the shootings in Christchurch on March 15, 2019.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attacks – the deadliest in the country’s modern history – as “one of the darkest days in New Zealand”.

The shooting prompted the government to rush through new laws banning most semi-automatic weapons.



Man charged with 51 murders in New Zealand pleads guilty

Tarrant was due to be tried in June, his change of plea being a surprise and a relief for the survivors and their relatives.

His lawyers on Monday asked the Christchurch High Court for permission to withdraw like his lawyer, which they said they asked for.

Some of the survivors attended the session, where Tarrant appeared via video link from Auckland prison.

A judge approved the request, saying he was convinced that Tarrant understood his right to legal representation and wished to waive it.

The Al Noor Mosque on Deans Avenue in Christchurch, New Zealand
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Al Noor Mosque was one of two sites targeted by the attacks

A lawyer will always be appointed by the court to provide advice if requested.

His conviction, which will begin on August 24, is expected to last up to three days, following attacks on the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Center last year.

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