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Tarrant Pleads Guilty

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Life in prison looms for Australia’s Christchurch gunman, now NZ’s first convicted terrorist

By Kris Gledhill,

Less than a fortnight after the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings, and on the first day of New Zealand’s four-week COVID-19 lockdown, the Australian man responsible for the attacks has surprised the nation by pleading guilty to all charges.

As well as being guilty of 51 counts of murder and 40 counts of attempted murder, he becomes the first person convicted of terrorism in New Zealand.

Up until now, the accused man – who The Conversation has chosen not to name – had pleaded not guilty to all charges and was due to stand trial from June 2. But the guilty plea means a trial is no longer necessary and the process now moves to the sentencing phase.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she “let out a massive sigh of relief” when she heard the news of his guilty pleas, and that she expected many New Zealanders would also feel: a certain sense of relief: that the whole nation, but particularly our Muslim community, are being spared from a trial that could’ve otherwise have acted as a platform.

Nothing will bring their loved ones back. But this is a small reprieve.

But families of victims and the wider New Zealand public look likely to face a long wait before the Australian terrorist is sentenced, as the court processes have been disrupted by the pandemic response. The judge has indicated that sentencing will only take place when all victims who want to attend can be present.


Timing of guilty pleas

A note released by the judge, Justice Mander, records that the defendant intimated earlier this week that he wished to plead guilty to all charges and then confirmed that in writing.

Criminal courts continue operating for urgent matters during the lockdown and the Christchurch High Court used audio-visual links for the defendant and his lawyers at the change of plea hearing. Only a small number of media representatives and senior members of the Christchurch Muslim community were present.

No date has been fixed for the sentencing hearing – and this is sensible. Justice Mander has asked for reports on the defendant prior to sentencing.

Aside from any difficulties for probation officers preparing their advice to the judge, sentencing hearings also provide an opportunity for victims and families of victims to present victim impact statements.

These are usually presented orally in cases of serious crime. Managing this process would have been difficult in normal circumstances and is now even more complex during a pandemic lockdown, but the judge has made clear he hopes this can happen.

Speaking after the news of the guilty pleas, Police Commissioner Mike Bush said some police staff who were working on the prosecution of the mosque attacker would now be freed up to help with New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.

Likely sentence and security conditions

The maximum sentence for attempted murder is 10 years, but for a terrorist act or murder it is life imprisonment. The Sentencing Act 2002 requires a life sentence for murder unless that would be manifestly unjust. In this case, there is no doubt the defendant will be sentenced to life in prison.

Some countries add various determinate sentences together to make long sentences, possibly of hundreds of years, but this practice is not followed in New Zealand.

But there is a real question for the judge. A life sentence has two parts: there is an outer limit (the rest of the defendant’s life) and a minimum term that has to be served as punishment. If the Parole Board concludes that the risk to the public is low enough, a person can be released once they have served the minimum term – so this is important.

The Sentencing Act requires a minimum term of at least 17 years for a terrorist murder or for murder involving two or more victims. But the judge is required to look at accountability for harm to victims, denunciation, deterrence and protection of the public and decide whether these factors require that no minimum term be set.

There has been no such whole life sentence in New Zealand to date. But I expect Justice Mander will give it serious consideration, notwithstanding the guilty plea, which is often given credit at the sentencing stage.

A prisoner is in the custody of the Department of Corrections. The defendant, an Australian self-declared white supremacist, has been in the highest security category and subject to additional restrictions since his arrest. It will be a long time, if ever, before he is managed outside high-security conditions.

There are various treaties relating to the transfer of serving prisoners, but New Zealand is not a party to them. It requires foreign prisoners to serve their sentence and then deports them. New Zealanders who are sentenced abroad cannot serve their sentence here.

When asked today about deportation, Prime Minister Ardern said it was too soon to make any decisions about the future, and that it was important to let the sentencing process finish first.

But it is generally accepted that the executive can make arrangements on an individual basis in special circumstances. It remains to be seen if the New Zealand and Australian governments make relevant arrangements.

18 COMMENTS

  1. How many hours and costs will be wasted preparing all these victim impact reports. If the Judge cannot realise the impact of having your father/mother/son/daughter etc etc blown away alongside 50 others without reading /hearing about it ……..just get on with it.

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    • This LFO is not interested in providing a victim impact report and suggest there are at least 250 000 victims of this clowns actions in addition to the families directly affected by death and injury. The scale of the abuse of democratic process and long term consequences of the knee jerk action by our government, impacting on so many, needs to be taken into account..

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    • Precisely. His political idol is Sir Oswald Mosely; a converative that turned socialist, nearly leader of the Labour Party in the UK and then turned into a fascist. (As you’d expect of a good socialist)

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    • Yes – and the fact that this has been put out while us poor sheeple are being made to feel the iron boot of oppression in lockdown is also suspicious. What the fuck has ReichsMarshall Mike Bush got to do with this? His involvement finished after Tarrant was arrested and the evidence was gathered – it’s in the hands of the prosecutor and the judiciary now.

      This avoids:
      a) Tarrant’s left-wing narrative leaking out during an election period
      b) the defence playing up the Police’s role in enabling Tarrant’s behaviour with the lax vetting and the easy access to high volumes of ammo
      c) the need to explain away all the reports of multiple shooters on the day of the shooting

      If you weren’t suspicious of 15 March before this – you’d be an absolute moron not to be after this announcement.

      And now it looks like we’re going to have to put up with President for Life Jacinda as a result of the panicpandemic.

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      • And it’s worth joining some dots again re the dirty Trinity of the FreeMasons, the Police and the PTPM.

        1. In the UK – there is such concern about the corrupting influence of the FreeMasons that senior police, judiciary, prison service officials have to declare their membership of the Masons in advance of any such appointments being made. Much has been made of the role of senior UK police officers who were masons being heavily involved in the cover-ups of Westminster pedophilia.
        2. Jacinda’s dad was a cop. Jacinda’s degree at Waikato University was funded by a FreeMason’s scholarship. Anyone else know anyone who ever got one of these? At my time in Uni – I never certainly did.
        3. The powers of the Police have expanded exponentially under Jacinda’s patronage. At this very second – we are living in a Police State – where unprecedented powers have been vested in a very second rate Police Commissioner.
        4. Jacinda has been provided with substantial cover and lattitude by Police in matters of sexual abuse within the Labour party. Judges find sexual assault of minors not a problem. Sexual assaults involving staff close to the PM – avoid investigation and get brushed under the carpet by senior legal professionals. The Police Commissioner made an absolutely unprecedented public announcement that Clarke Gayford ISN’T the subject of an investigation over cocaine use.
        5. The Police are using draconian arms regulations changes as an excuse to turn up armed at critics of Jacinda and to threaten them over any anti-government social media postings.

        If all of that doesn’t make you suspicious then I have a lovely bridge I could sell you.

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        • Arderns father will have had a big hand in recent events.
          Note as well how she kept flights open to the Pacific Islands so her parents could still move freely.

          This has been a quid pro quo from the start.
          The cops protect Ardern (daughter of a cop) and they get hugely increased powers.
          it is fairly common for cops to look out for other cop’s kids.
          Very strong culture of that in the USA

          Bush stepped up to say ‘don’t be mean’ to Ardern’s toyboy
          In turn she is not tarnished by events that would have seen a tsunami of shit head towards John Key.
          He only pulled a pony tail and look at the crap that poured out of the gobs of media filth- themselves no angels with a higher than average rate of alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental health issues.

          Something I have not been able to find.
          Perhaps it has been scrubbed from the internet.
          She talks a lot about Morrinsville but before that Ardern was in Murupara
          That was in the 1980s.
          That is the time of the Louise Nicholas sexual assaults and it was a small town.
          There would not have been many cops and in the early 1980s there was high employment in forestry before the town became a bene hangout.

          How much did Ross Ardern really know because it was not just Louise Nicholas that was sexually assaulted in Murupara.
          Schollum was there from 1980 to 1982.
          The culture did not stop after his departure.

          The compliance of cops when there is sexual assault of young people whether by Liebour Pardy creeps or the general riff raff is not a new thing in NZ.
          They have significant blind spots.

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    • I totally agree Alice.
      There would have been machinations for months.
      They do not want him in a trial.
      It would be a showcase equivalent to the OJ Simpson one in USA circa 1995 that took nearly a year.

      They have been working on it for ages and then ..wow…the very first day of Home D for all whether you are a criminal or not …this guy pleads guilty.
      No drama.

      Now they have to interview the 250 relatives of the dead and anyone in ChCh that day who had feelz about it.
      Compliant media filth will lap this up.

      It was on the cards for a while.

      Used as a political opportunity to throw shade on criticism of the lockdown

      If Ardern says she did not know of this then she is either incompetent as PTPM (no more proof reqd) or she is lying.
      I go with lying.

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  2. Why did he do it now and not just before Comrade Cindy’s celebration that never was?
    That would have taken the wind out of her sails.
    There are a lot of unanswered questions here from the PTPM down.

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  3. As DP above notes the Masons, the other more modern connection:-

    The other side of this is “Common Purpose”

    The whole article is interesting, even though from wikipedia.
    ….. Conservative MP for Shipley, criticised the relationship between Government and Common Purpose as well as the fact it did not put the content of its training in the public domain ….
    .
    ……….. charity was unlikely to have complied with the provisions in the Data Protection Act on processing personal data when it compiled a list containing the personal details of people who had made what it (CP) contended were “vexatious” requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to its dealings with public authorities ……..
    .
    …… Joyce Thacker, heavily criticised in the Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal, was a member of CPUK, and noting that Common Purpose had been described as “[a] secretive Fabian organisation [… that] has been described as a Left-wing version of the Freemasons. ……

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Purpose_UK

    Read on that in that wiki link and look who did the defending of the “Leveson Inquiry controversy”
    ——————
    Then though this is EU orientated I am sure in through this article you can see some of these concepts in NZ.

    The EU grants and funding keeps pouring in. Take the £320m of Objective One in Cornwall.
    Nobody really knows where that money was spent, except that it was frittered away in remarkably small sums £500,00 and £150,000 here, £60,000 there etc etc.
    By this means, and particularly with minimal proper accounting and probity checks, the money reaches back pockets, favoured consultants and the dishonest.
    The breeding ground for fraud and corruption has been created, and not surprisingly fraud and corruption begin to run rife.
    With it comes the added nastiness of threats, intimidation and bullying of those who hold up their hand and say look this is illegal.

    https://wikileaks.org/wiki/Common_purpose

    It is here!
    Seems to be active in New Zealand though will be under the radar, hiding with all the feelz good cover, in plain sight.
    https://commonpurpose.org/media/4527/gle_auckland_2016_1-web.pdf

    Many in the government like, NZ First seems to be well primed in this concept, even if not directly connected, or are they? 🙁
    So after reading that, how far does that stretch?
    A rotten fish rots at the head, and we know of the shenanigans on the 9th floor, and the PR. to camouflage and mask in plain view.

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