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New Zealand Mosque Shooter Charged with Terrorism

New Zealand Mosque Shooter Charged with Terrorism

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019 - 05:30
A police officer places flowers at the entrance of Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Asharq Al-Awsat

New Zealand police have for the first time filed a terrorism charge against the man accused of killing 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques.

Police said Tuesday they have charged 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant with engaging in a terrorist act after the March 15 shootings. The charge comes with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and will be a test case for New Zealand's terrorism laws, which came onto the books in 2002.

Police also charged the white supremacist with an additional count of murder, bringing the total number of murder charges against him to 51. That came after a Turkish man who was wounded in the attack died earlier this month in Christchurch Hospital.

The man, who also faces 40 charges of attempted murder, is next due to appear in court in June.

Police told families and survivors of the new charges at a meeting attended by more than 200 people.

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