New Zealand police charge Christchurch mosque attacker with terrorism

The man accused of killing 51 people in the Christchurch mosques attack has been charged with terrorism, New Zealand police have said

The 28-year-old suspected white supremacist is also facing 51 murder charges and 40 attempted murder charges
The 28-year-old suspected white supremacist is also facing 51 murder charges and 40 attempted murder charges

New Zealand police said Tuesday they had filed a terrorism charge against the Australian national accused of killing 51 worshippers in attacks on Christchurch mosques in March. 

"A charge of engaging in a Terrorist Act under section 6A of the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 has now been filed," police said in a statement.

The offence carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. It's also a test case for New Zealand's terror law, which was enacted in 2002.

The 28-year-old suspected white supremacist is also facing 51 murder charges and 40 attempted murder charges. 

He has been ordered to undergo a mental health assessment and is due to appear in court next month.

The 15 March attacks on the al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch were the worst shootings in New Zealand's history. The carnage shocked the population and prompted the government to tighten the country's gun laws. It also sparked widespread criticism of social media platforms, which allowed the massacre to be live-streamed.

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