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Jacinda Ardern says she will give mosque gunman ‘nothing’ on news of appeal

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she will give the Christchurch mosque gunman “nothing” following his appeal. Video / Mark Mitchell


  • Jacinda Ardern said she will give the mosque gunman ‘nothing’ after news he will appeal.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she will give the Christchurch mosque gunman “nothing” after news broke that he will be appealing against his conviction and sentence.

The Court of Appeal in Wellington this morning confirmed to the Herald that Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 people in 2019, has filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence.

A Court of Appeal spokeswoman said that no hearing date has yet been scheduled. Ardern said she would uphold her pledge, made shortly after the mosque attacks, not to name the terrorist.

“His is a story that should not be told and his is a name that should not be repeated and I am going to apply the same rule in commenting on his attempt to revictimise people,” Ardern said.

“We should give him nothing,” she said.

Ardern is limited in commenting much further on the case given it is before the courts.

In March 2020, Tarrant pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and a terrorism charge.

He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Victims of the attack have spoken to the Herald and said the appeal will revictimise them.

Imam Gamal Fouda who survived the terror attack at his Deans Ave mosque where 44 worshippers were shot dead during Friday prayer said he has faith in the New Zealand judicial system.

“I believe that this will cause significant trauma in our community and that the terrorist will gain nothing from it,” he said.

“I am struggling to understand why he is doing this when he himself pleaded guilty.

“I cannot help but think that this is another action from this terrorist to harm his victims again by keeping alive the memory of him and his terrorist actions.”

Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times during the Al Noor Mosque attack, hadn’t heard the news of the appeal when contacted by the Herald, and said he would discuss it with his lawyer tomorrow.

“He’s doing these things to keep reminding the public that ‘I’m still here’.

“He’s trying to not be forgotten.

“It’s not going to work and he will remain in there forever.”

Rahimi Ahmad who was shot at Al Noor and badly injured was today “very surprised and depressed” at the terrorist’s latest move.

“I really hope that his request is not granted,” he said.

“He was very lucky to have been well-treated in the prison.”

When contacted by the Herald today, Tarrant’s lawyer Ron Mansfield KC said he was “not available at this time” but added he was currently only assigned as counsel for the coronial inquiry into the March 15 terror attack.

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