Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to 51 murders

Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant pleads guilty to 51 murders
The gun attacks caused an outpouring of grief in New Zealand. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: The Christchurch shooter who opened bullets on mosques in the New Zealand city a year ago has pleaded guilty to 51 charges of murder.

The 29-year-old Brenton Tarrant, from New South Wales, Australia, admitted the attempted murder of another 40 people, and one terrorism charge.

The Christchurch shooter had previously denied the charges and was due to go on trial in June.

The gun attacks of two mosques sent shockwaves across the world. It was even more shocking as the shooter live streamed the whole massacre.

New Zealand, In the wake of the killings, brought in stricter gun laws.

On Thursday, the plea was made at a scaled-down court hearing in Christchurch High Court, as the country is in state lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

No public was allowed in the hearing while Tarrant and his lawyers appeared in the court through video link.

A representative of the two mosques war allowed to attend the hearing to represent the victims and their families.

Judge Justice Cameron Mander said it is regrettable that the victims and their families are not present in the courtroom when the defendant entered his pleas of guilty.

The date of sentencing on the 92 charges against Tarrant is not set yet.

Tarrant was remanded in custody until 1 May when the court hopes to be able to set a sentencing date.

But the judge pointed it clear that there is no intention to sentence the defendant before the court returns to its normal operations.