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Six in court for sharing New Zealand mosque attack live-stream

An armed police officer stands guard outside the al-Noor mosque in Christchurch [AFP/Getty]

Date of publication: 15 April, 2019

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Six people in New Zealand have appeared in court for illegally sharing the live stream of the white-supremacist gunman's attack which killed 50 Friday-prayer-goers last month.
Six people appeared in a New Zealand court Monday on charges they illegally redistributed the video a gunman live streamed on Facebook as he shot worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch 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 26 April.

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 31 July when electronically monitored bail will be considered.

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 police on Thursday arrested a man in a "Trump" t-shirt who was hurling abuse at worshippers outside one of the Christchurch mosques.

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.

Comment: We told you the threat is white supremacy. You ignored us

The 28-year-old Australian, a self-avowed white supremacist, shocked the world when he entered two mosques during weekly Friday prayer and gunned down men, women and children at point-blank range. 

New Zealand has taken preventative measures to ensure a similar attack is not carried out. The government is implementing a law that would ban the types of weapons he right-wing gun man used - including "military-style" semi-automatic guns and high-capacity magazines.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received praise internationally for her response to the tragedy. The results of the first opinion poll since the attack showed her approval ratings at their highest level since she took office, Reuters reported.

Four weeks on from the New Zealand mosques massacre, the Christchurch Muslim community is struggling to get worshippers to overcome their fears and return to Friday prayers.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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