Alleged NZ mosque gunman ‘rational’, lawyer says after he’s fired | New Zealand News

The Australian man accused of shooting dead 50 people at two New Zealand mosques doesn’t appear mentally unstable and plans to represent himself, his court-appointed lawyer said on Monday.

The announcement raises concerns that white supremacist Brenton Tarrant could espouse his extreme views in court as he conducts his own defence.

Tarrant was charged with one count of murder and appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers. He will face more charges when he appears in court again on April 5.

Duty lawyer Richard Peters, who represented him during the preliminary court hearing, said the 28-year-old “indicated he does not want a lawyer”.

“He wants to be self-represented in this case,” Peters told AFP news agency.

At his first court appearance, Tarrant didn’t speak but appeared unrepentant, smirking at journalists and flashing an upside down “okay” sign – a symbol associated with white power groups around the world.

Peters told the New Zealand Herald newspaper Tarrant appeared lucid and mentally sound, other than the extreme views he held.

“The way he presented was rational and someone who was not suffering any mental disability. That’s how he appeared. He seemed to understand what was going on,” he said.

Selling guns

Tightening New Zealand’s gun laws was at the top of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s agenda as she met with her cabinet on Monday for the first time since the massacre.

“What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that’s the right question to ask,” Ardern told TVNZ.

“There are ways we can bring in affective regulation of firearms that actually target those we need to target and that is our focus.”

Ardern later told a press conference the cabinet was unanimous in plans to change gun laws, but said details would be announced at a later date.




Massacres at New Zealand mosques triggers gun debate

New Zealand, a country of only 5 million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms. The minimum age for a gun license is 16, and 18 to own a semi-automatic weapon.

A Christchurch gun shop on Monday acknowledged selling guns online to the 28-year-old white supremacist.

At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition to Tarrant through a “police-verified online mail order process”.

The store “detected nothing extraordinary” about the purchaser, he said. None of the guns sold to Tarrant were military style semi-automatic weapons.

‘Emotional responses’

Tipple said he felt no responsibility for the tragedy and refused to say whether he believed gun ownership laws should change in New Zealand.

Ardern has said the attacker used five guns, two of them semi-automatic, which were purchased with an ordinary gun license and modified.

It was not clear if any of the firearms Tarrant purchased from Gun City were used in Friday’s mass shootings.

“This man wrote in his manifesto that the purpose of using a firearm was to divide us,” Tipple said. “If we allow him to make changes in our ideology, in our behaviour, he’s won.”

Tipple said his company had operated legally for 40 years and New Zealand was a country of laws and “not a country of emotional responses”.


SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies


Source

more recommended stories

  • Sri Lanka bombings: All the latest updates | Sri Lanka News

    A series of coordinated explosions has rocked.

  • Sri Lanka Easter bombings: Mass casualties in churches and hotels | News

    A series of bombings has hit.

  • Will Egyptian President Sisi’s mandate be extended? | Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

    Millions of Egyptians are heading to.

  • Gaza fishermen: Israel extending fishing zone is token gesture | News

    Gaza Strip – Under cover of.

  • US man arrested for threatening Democratic politicians | USA News

    Police arrested a Florida man on.

  • US Democrat Nadler subpoenas full, unredacted Mueller report | USA News

    United States House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

  • Mali’s PM Maiga, government resign over Ogossagou massacre | News

    Mali‘s prime minister and his government.

  • Libya death toll rises to 205 as Tripoli fighting continues: WHO | News

    At least 205 people have been.

  • Magnitude 6.1 earthquake hits east Taiwan, no major damage | News

    A magnitude 6.1 earthquake has struck.

  • Mueller report to be released on Thursday: 5 things to look for | News

    US Attorney General William Barr has.

  • Ethiopia: Former jail to become museum | Ethiopia News

    The administration of Ethiopia‘s southeastern Somali.

  • Voting underway in Indonesia’s biggest election | News

    Indonesians have started voting to choose.

  • Why is Notre Dame important to France? | France News

    Notre Dame Cathedral is one of.

  • Jailed Reuters journalists honoured with Pulitzer Prize | News

    Two jailed reporters for the Reuters.

  • Are foreign powers worsening the conflict in Libya? | Middle East

    Libya’s rival forces are intensifying their.

  • India’s poll body accused of bias as election complaints pile up | India News

    New Delhi, India – In 2011,.

  • Sudan military vows to reform intelligence service amid protests | News

    Sudan‘s ruling military council has announced.

  • Russia in Africa: Inside a military training centre in CAR | Central African Republic

    Russia is back in the Central.

  • Think you can survive in Bangkok’s art world?

    Curate an art exhibition and survive.

  • Sudan’s military removes al-Bashir: All the latest updates | News

    Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir has been.

  • British MPs say WikiLeaks’ Assange should face justice in Sweden | News

    More than 70 British members of.

  • ‘Not pawns’: US mayors decry Trump’s sanctuary city threat | USA News

    Democratic US mayors said on Friday.

  • Algerians take to the streets as anger mounts at interim leader | Algeria News

    Algerian police tried but failed to.

  • ‘Guard your revolution’: Sudan protests continue despite curfew | News

    Organisers of the months-long demonstrations that.

  • US charges WikiLeaks’ Assange with ‘computer hacking conspiracy’ | News

    Washington, DC – US prosecutors have charged.

  • India elections: Voting under way for first phase | India News

    Indians are voting in the first.

  • US, China ‘agree to establish trade deal enforcement offices’ | News

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

  • New Zealand passes gun law reform in wake of Christchurch attack | New Zealand News

    Auckland, New Zealand – New Zealand’s.

  • Israel elections: Netanyahu and main rival in tight race | News

    Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was.

  • Hope blossoms in spring as Afghans keep close eye on peace talks | Asia

    Asasabad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan – The.

  • Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Movement’ protest leaders found guilty | News

    Hong Kong – A Hong Kong.

  • Three US troops, one contractor killed in Afghanistan explosion | Afghanistan News

    Three US service members and a.