Rachel Maguire Rachel Maguire Aug 24, 2020
  • A judge in New Zealand has heard an official account of how the terrorist who murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch planned and executed the attacks.
  • The shooter went to Christchurch about two months before the attack and flew a drone directly over the mosque, where 42 of his victims were killed.
  • On Monday, a prosecutor read the authorities'version of events, telling the court of the detail in which Tarrant had planned the attacks

A judge in New Zealand has heard for the first time an official account of how the terrorist who murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch planned and executed the attacks. The shooter went to Christchurch about two months before the attack and flew a drone directly over the mosque, where 42 of his victims were killed.

Two two others later died in hospital. Those bereaved in New Zealand's worst peacetime massacre, and its survivors, are facing the gunman in court for the first time. On Monday, a prosecutor read the authorities' version of events, telling the court of the detail in which Tarrant had planned the attacks.

During the year 2017, he began planning the attacks, research the mosques in New Zealand and viewing plans of the buildings he intended to attack. The first of dozens of victims due to speak during the four-day hearing read emotional statements in front of the gunman.

In the corners of Al Noor, worshippers were huddled together and on top of each other, the court heard. The prosecutor also called his brother Adbul Aziz brave and screamed at Tarrant, who then flung one of his weapons into a window of his car. During the process victims of the attacks were allowed to speak in court, standing just metres from the gunman and sometimes addressing him directly.

Describing Tarrant as a “brainwashed terrorist”, Fouda added that New Zealand's response to the attacks had been “the opposite to what the terrorist had wanted”.

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