Christchurch: The terrorist accused of killing 49 people in two mosques of Christchurch, New Zealand, does not regret his action. Brenton Tarrant, a resident of Australia, was presented in Saturday’s court where he was charged with murder.
Tarrant in court
During the first day of the trial, there was no sense of guilt evident on the face of the terrorist. Wearing handcuffs, in a jail inmate’s white uniform and presence of a heavy security force, Tarrant’s attitude in the court showed how dreadful he is.
Tarrant made an upside-down ‘OK’ sign even in the courtroom. This sign is associated with White supremacist groups. It indicated he hated not only Muslims but also Blacks.
Tarrant, 28, did not enter a plea.
“There were two other firearms in the vehicle that the offender was in and it absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Tarrant has been slapped with charges of murder, under which he can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
Miners called to dig graves
Formerly a fitness trainer, the 28-year Tarrant was turning around to look at journalists repeatedly during the hearing. Tarrant has not filed a bail application in the court. The court has ordered his detention till the next hearing on 5 April.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand government has called on miners to dig a big part of the land to bury the dead at an old graveyard. The police have not yet handed the bodies to the families.
2-year-old boy, 4-year-old girl battle for life
In a nearby hospital, doctors are treating 39 injured persons. The injured include a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl whose condition is uncertain. The attack on two mosques of New Zealand, generally known for being a peace-loving country that has also accommodated refugees, has surprised many. Throughout the day, people paid floral tributes to the dead around the Al Mon Masjid where a temporary monument has been put in place, cordoned off by the police.
Imam says Muslims still love New Zealand
An Imam who was praying at the Linwood Mosque during the attack said that the Muslim community would not be intimidated by the massacre. Ibrahim Abdul Halim said, “We still love this country.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ardern reached the city, wearing a black scarf on the head, and met with the families of victims. She said the victims came from countries like Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia. Among the dead are a Saudi Arab and two citizens of Jordan. Five Pakistani nationals are missing.
Sahara Ahmed of Somalian origin living in New Zealand said she was overwhelmed by the behaviour of the Prime Minister.
Laws on firearms to change
Understanding the global impact of the attack on Saturday, Ardern said she is consulting the commerce ministers of Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia to deal with the aftereffects of the terror attack. Talking about the country’s gun laws, she said that she was ready to make reform them.