The man who killed 51 people in the New Zealand mosque attacks has appealed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – The man who killed 51 Muslim worshipers in the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand history has appealed his conviction and sentence.

New Zealand’s Court of Appeal confirmed on Tuesday that striker Brenton Tarrant had lodged an appeal last week. The court said a hearing date has not yet been set.

Tarrant, who is white, shot worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers in March 2019. He left dozens of others with serious injuries in the attack, which he broadcast live on Facebook.

The following year, Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the maximum sentence available in New Zealand.

Details of his appeal were not immediately available from the court.

But in previous court documents, Tarrant, 32, claimed he was subjected to “inhuman or degrading treatment” while held in solitary confinement for months after the shooting, preventing a fair trial. He said he only confessed under duress.

Tarrant fired one of his lawyers in 2021, and it was not immediately clear whether another lawyer represented him in his appeal or whether he represented himself.

Temel Atacocugu, who survived after being shot nine times during the attack on the Al Noor mosque, told the Stuff news outlet that the attacker was playing around and seeking attention by filing a complaint.

“I would like to tell him, ‘Grow up, be a man and die quietly in prison, because that’s what you deserve,'” Atacocugu said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had long ago pledged not to publicly say the terrorist’s name.

“His is a story that should not be told and his is a name that should not be repeated and I will apply that same rule when commenting on his attempts to revictimize people,” Ardern said. “We shouldn’t give him anything.”

The attacks prompted New Zealand to quickly pass new laws banning the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons. In a subsequent buyback scheme, gun owners turned over more than 50,000 guns to the police. The attacks also prompted a global shift in social media, as tech companies sought to prevent or quickly stop live streaming of future attacks.

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