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

Documentary about a Sylvan Lake man and his team to be featured at Okotoks Film Festival

Living the Warrior Code documents Scott Mcdermott and his team’s journey back to the Ultraman race

Israeli, Chinese policies ‘concern’ Canada, undermine freedom, says Trudeau

Israeli, Chinese policies ‘concern’ Canada, undermine freedom, says Trudeau

House of Commons can manage virtual voting securely if MPs want it, Speaker says

House of Commons can manage virtual voting securely if MPs want it, Speaker says

Liberals detail changes to COVID-19 aid as they ask MPs to OK new spending

Liberals detail changes to COVID-19 aid as they ask MPs to OK new spending

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Sylvan Lake News is firmly committed to seeing you through the changes ahead, but we need your help

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Pandemic impact on economies may have peaked

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Trudeau says long-term care was discussed with provinces

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Nunavut RCMP order probe after video shows suspect hit by police vehicle door

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

Joint federal-provincial inquiry into N.S. mass shooting a good option: top expert

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

As U.S. boils over, calls for Canadian justice ring out in House of Commons

Most Read