Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant charged with terrorism

Brenton Tarrant

Brenton Tarrant is accused of killing 51 people

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

A 28-year-old accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosque attacks has been charged with terrorism.

New Zealand Police have charged Australian-born Brenton Tarrant with engaging in a terrorist act after the March 15 shootings.

It will be the first time someone in New Zealand has been charged with an act of terror under the law, which came into force in 2002.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Police have also charged Tarrant with an additional count of murder, bringing the total number of murder charges against him to 51.

That came after a Turkish man who was wounded in the attack died earlier this month in Christchurch Hospital.

Police told families and survivors of the new charges at a meeting attended by more than 200 people.

Following the attacks, New Zealand introduced major changes to gun laws, with MPs in the country voting to ban military-style semi-automatic weapons.

Social media giant Facebook has also implemented policy changes in the wake of the tragedy.

It has issued a “one strike” policy for users breaking its rules using the livestream function, after the Christchurch shooter used the feature to share footage of the attack in real-time.

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