FILE - In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Philip Arps stands in the dock at the District Court in Christchurch, New Zealand. Arps has pleaded guilty to sharing a livestream video that was recorded by a gunman as he began killing 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand and will remain in jail until he’s sentenced on June 14. (Mark Mitchell/Pool Photo via AP, File)

New Zealander pleads guilty to sharing mosque shooting video

He forwarded the video to a person who he told to insert crosshairs and to include a kill count

A Christchurch businessman has pleaded guilty to sharing a livestream video that was recorded by a gunman last month as he began killing 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.

Philip Arps pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the mosque video and will remain in jail until he’s sentenced on June 14. He faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors accused the 44-year-old of sending the video to an unknown person and instructing that person to insert crosshairs and to include a kill count. Prosecutors say he then forwarded the entire video to 30 associates.

The gunman mounted a helmet camera and livestreamed his attack on Facebook. The chilling 17-minute video was copied and viewed widely on the internet even as tech companies scrambled to remove it.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week said the shooter had used social media in an unprecedented way to promote an act of terrorism and hate.

New Zealand’s Chief Censor David Shanks banned both the video and a manifesto written by the white supremacist accused of the attack, making it illegal to view, possess or distribute either item in New Zealand. Few objected to the ban on the video, but many argue that banning the manifesto impinges on free speech rights.

READ MORE: Facebook says no one flagged NZ mosque shooting livestream

At least six people have been charged with illegally sharing the video. Arps and one other person, an 18-year-old, were jailed in March while the other four have not been kept in custody.

The 18-year-old suspect is charged with sharing both the video and a still image of the Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed with the words “target acquired.” He will reappear in court on July 31 when electronically monitored bail will be considered.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder in the attacks. His next court hearing has been scheduled for June 14.

Ardern announced this week that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting in Paris next month seeking to eliminate acts of violent extremism and terrorism from being shown online.

Ardern said she and Macron will ask world leaders and chief executives of technology companies to agree to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call.” She hasn’t release any details of the pledge, saying they are still being developed.

READ MORE: New Zealand and France to call for an end to online terror

Nick Perry, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

UPDATE: body of missing man located

Jerret Snow was last seen May 19

Schools preparing for optional part-time classes for students

Parents will have the choice whether or not to return their children to class

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read