Sentencing date set for Christchurch mosque shooter
THE Australian man convicted of the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings will be sentenced next month during an expected three-day court sitting.
Today New Zealand High Court Justice Cameron Mander announced the sentencing date of August 24, which had been delayed due to COVID-19.
Brenton Tarrant, who confessed to the crimes in March, is expected to be sentenced to life in jail for 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism.
Tarrant had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges, before making a shock plea reversal.
Australian Associated Press reports the High Court has been exploring ways of allowing as many victims and family members, many of whom are based overseas, to participate in the sentencing.
Justice Mander said the court had been in contact with NZ government departments, given the current border closure and 14-day mandatory isolation for international arrivals.
Justice Mander said he balanced the setting of the date for sentencing next month, which would preclude the participation of overseas-based victims and families, against the strong desire for closure from local community members.
"They wish sentencing to happen as soon as realistically possible," Justice Mander said.
"Finality and closure is considered by some as the best means of bringing relief to the Muslim community."
Justice Mander said people based overseas will be able to present victim impact statements using videoconferencing technology or simply watch the proceedings over a live streaming link.