No Lawyers for Australian Brenton Tarrant at NZ Sentencing

Elias Hubbard
July 13, 2020

The gunman of the Christchurch mosque attacks has chosen to represent himself at his sentencing next month.

Tarrant appeared via audio-visual link in Christchurch High Court this morning where he waived his rights to a lawyer to represent himself for sentencing.

Australian man Brenton Harrison Tarrant has entered guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of committing a terrorist act following the attacks on Al Noor and Linwood mosques on March 15 past year. They told the court they had been instructed by Tarrant to withdraw as he wishes to exercise his right to represent himself.

Justice Cameron Mander granted the request after confirming directly with Tarrant, and notified the court he meant to appoint a "standby lawyer" to assist with the process. "The role of standby counsel is to assist the defendant if and to the extent the defendant wishes to accept that counsel's assistance". Tarrant's sentencing hearing, delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, will begin in Christchurch on August 24.

A lawyer will still be appointed by the court to provide advice if Tarrant requests it. Mander called for a pre-sentence report and statements from victims for the hearing.

When the sentencing date was announced in July, Justice Mander said the court estimated it would take three days "but the hearing will take as long as is necessary".

On March 15 previous year, the terrorist drove to Masjid Al-Noor in Christchurch and opened fire during Friday prayers.

To manage isolation and quarantine capacity, those eligible to apply for a border exception under new humanitarian grounds include up to two family members of those killed or one family member and one support person; those who were subject to an attempted murder in the attack and one family member or support person to accompany them.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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