Man Who Shared Christchurch Shooting Video Sentenced To 21 Months In Prison

18 Juin, 2019, 14:32 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Philip Neville Arps left appears for sentencing in the Christchurch District Court. ─ AP

A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019.

When the Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O'Driscoll questioned Arps about his opinion of the video, he replied "awesome".

Philip Arps, 44, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the livestream video of the mass shooting, in which a gunman filmed himself on Facebook killing 51 people at two mosques in March.

"Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred", he said.

The judge also said Arps had asked someone to insert a kill count and crosshairs on the video to create a meme, however no evidence existed that he ever shared the edited clip.

Judge O'Driscoll said it was clear Arps held strong views towards the Muslim community, and Arps interrupted to say his views applied to "religion as a whole".

The Crown prosecutor Shivani Dayal said because of Arps' extreme ideological outlook, there was no prospect of his rehabilitation and his sentence should rule out home detention.

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New Zealand's government has outlawed the sharing of videos of the massacre, with such an offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

On Tuesday, the Associated Press reports that Arps had argued he was rightfully distributing the video under the guise of freedom to pursue his political beliefs.

In other cases, at least five other people were also charged with illegally sharing the shooting video. The mosque was among the two targeted in the March massacre.

Tarrant last week pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder.

Defence counsel Anselm Williams urged that home detention be considered, saying the limited scale of the distribution meant imprisonment was not necessary.

Williams later told The Associated Press news agency his client had filed an appeal against his sentence at the High Court but declined to comment further.

Philip Neville Arps, (left) appears for sentencing in the Christchurch District Court. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to jump to action following the attacks, announcing a week later the country was immediately banning "military-style semi-automatic weapons". His trial has been scheduled for next May.

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