Australian charged over Christchurch mosque attacks changes plea to guilty

A police officer stands guard outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch

The killing spree was the deadliest in New Zealand's modern history and prompted the government to rush through new laws banning most semi-automatic weapons.

Now that Tarrant has admitted the charges, there will be no trial - it had been set down to start in June this year and was expected to last six weeks.

Brenton Tarrant, 29, also admitted the attempted murder of another 40 people, and one terrorism charge.

Tarrant is the first person to be found guilty of terrorism in New Zealand under laws passed after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.


The gun attacks at two mosques sent shockwaves around the world.

"Honestly, I'm still trying to process what just happened", said Aya Al-Umari, whose brother Hussein was killed in the attack on the Al Noor mosque.

Mander said sentencing would take place "at a time when victims and their families can attend the court in person", he said.

The lockdown meant that Tarrant appeared in the court from his jail cell via Facebook video link and that only a few people were allowed inside the courtroom, Mike Bush, New Zealand's police commissioner, said.

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