National | Christchurch

Early guilty plea acknowledged by Police - Christchurch Attack

The defendant charged with the Christchurch terrorism attack has pleaded guilty.

The charges were as follows: 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder, and one charge of engaging in a terrorist act were taken via video link from an Auckland prison.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush says the next milestone now will be when sentencing takes place.

He also says what's most important is that "They (victims) don't have to relive this through a court trial."

This means a judge will deliberate on a sentence for the defendant.

Victim Support CEO Kevin Tso also says, "We’re pleased victims no longer have to face the trauma of the trial.”

Sentencing will not take place until it is possible for those who wish to attend the hearing can do so. COVID-19 emergency measures make this impossible at this time.

The shooter will be remanded in custody until 1 May 2020 where the situation will be reviewed.

They will either be sentenced or their remand will continue. Kevin Tso pledged the continued assistance of Victim Support for the victims.

“They have our utmost respect and promise that we will be here for them for as long as they need us," Tso says.

The March 15 terrorist attack in Christchurch is the worst terrorist act Aotearoa has seen to date.