Australian Gunner planned the Christchurch Mosque killings for six years; NZ Court told

CHRISTCHURCH SHOOTINGS
Family members of victims of the mosque attacks arrive for the start of gunman Brenton Tarrant''s sentencing outside the High Court in Christchurch [Martin Hunter/AAP Image via Reuters]

The Australian man who killed 51 people at two mosques in New Zealand in 2019 meticulously planned his shooting rampage to maximise casualties, a prosecutor said at the start of sentencing hearings on Monday.

Brenton Tarrant, a self-confessed white supremacist, has pleaded guilty to 51 murder charges, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge of committing a terrorist act in relation to the massacre in the southern city of Christchurch, which he streamed live on Facebook.

Handcuffed and dressed in grey prison clothes, Tarrant sat impassive as he looked directly at survivors and family members of those who died as they spoke about how their lives had been affected by the killings.

Tarrant also expressed regret for not taking more lives and had planned to burn the mosques down, Hawes said.

Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, hundreds more will have to observe physical distancing as they watch proceedings via live feeds to seven courtrooms in Christchurch. Others have been granted permission to monitor the hearings online, all part of a massive logistical exercise that includes the live translation of proceedings into eight languages to accommodate the diversity of the Muslim community.