Christchurch, March 26 (IANS) The man accused of attacking two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch city last year that killed 51 people, on Thursday pled guilty to charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism.

Brenton Tarrant, 29, appeared via video-link in the Christchurch High Court on the first day of the national lockdown in nEW zealand to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reports Xinhua news agency.

He admitted to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act in a closed court hearing, local media reported.

The mass shootings on March 15, 2019, has been deemed as the darkest day of New Zealand’s history.

“The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement after the court hearing.

“These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, and other witnesses, the ordeal of a trial,” Ardern said.

The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges during previous hearings.

Tarrant, jailed at an Auckland prison, was silent and emotionless throughout the court hearing, local media reported.




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