At the High Court in Christchurch, Brenton Tarrant admitted 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
Until today he had denied all of the charges and was scheduled to stand trial in June. The guilty plea means he has become New Zealand’s first convicted terrorist.
The 29-year-old showed no emotion as he appeared via audio visual link in the High Court at around 10am.
No explanation for Tarrant’s change of heart was given during today’s hearing. He has been remanded in custody until May. . .
This will save the taxpayer the cost, courts the time and most importantly the families and friends of those killed the distress of a prolonged defended trial.
The Prime Minister decided she would not say Tarrant’s name. That was a powerful political statement but it does not, and should not, fetter the media.
The names of criminals should be made public unless the court makes a suppression order.
Tarrant has pleaded guilty to the horrific slaughter of innocent people and his name should be associated with his crime.