New Zealand mosque shootings: Six in court on charges they sent attack images

Jane Onyanga-Omara
The charge of supplying or distributing objectionable material carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Six people appeared in a New Zealand court Monday on charges they illegally redistributed the video a gunman livestreamed as he shot worshippers at two mosques last month.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied bail to businessman Philip Arps and an 18-year-old suspect who both were taken into custody in March. The four others are not in custody.

The charge of supplying or distributing objectionable material carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment. Arps, 44, is scheduled to next appear in court via video link on April 26.

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

Armed police officers stand guard outside the Al Noor mosque, one of the mosques where some 50 people were killed by a self-avowed white supremacist gunman on March 15, in Christchurch on April 5, 2019. - The man accused of shooting dead 50 Muslim worshippers in a Christchurch mosque sat impassively earlier on April 5 as a New Zealand judge ordered him to undergo tests to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial for murder.

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Police prosecutor Pip Currie opposed bail for the 18-year-old suspect and said the second charge, involving the words added to the still image, was of significant concern.

New Zealand’s chief censor has banned both the livestreamed footage of the attack and the manifesto written and released by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges in the March 15 attacks.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Zealand mosque shootings: Six in court on charges they sent attack images