FILE - In this March 20, 2019, file photo, Philip Arps stands in the dock at the District Court in Christchurch, New Zealand. Arps has pleaded guilty to sharing a livestream video that was recorded by a gunman as he began killing 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand and will remain in jail until he’s sentenced on June 14. (Mark Mitchell/Pool Photo via AP, File)

New Zealander pleads guilty to sharing mosque shooting video

He forwarded the video to a person who he told to insert crosshairs and to include a kill count

A Christchurch businessman has pleaded guilty to sharing a livestream video that was recorded by a gunman last month as he began killing 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.

Philip Arps pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the mosque video and will remain in jail until he’s sentenced on June 14. He faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors accused the 44-year-old of sending the video to an unknown person and instructing that person to insert crosshairs and to include a kill count. Prosecutors say he then forwarded the entire video to 30 associates.

The gunman mounted a helmet camera and livestreamed his attack on Facebook. The chilling 17-minute video was copied and viewed widely on the internet even as tech companies scrambled to remove it.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week said the shooter had used social media in an unprecedented way to promote an act of terrorism and hate.

New Zealand’s Chief Censor David Shanks banned both the video and a manifesto written by the white supremacist accused of the attack, making it illegal to view, possess or distribute either item in New Zealand. Few objected to the ban on the video, but many argue that banning the manifesto impinges on free speech rights.

READ MORE: Facebook says no one flagged NZ mosque shooting livestream

At least six people have been charged with illegally sharing the video. Arps and one other person, an 18-year-old, were jailed in March while the other four have not been kept in custody.

The 18-year-old suspect is charged with sharing both the video and a still image of the Al Noor mosque where more than 40 people were killed with the words “target acquired.” He will reappear in court on July 31 when electronically monitored bail will be considered.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder in the attacks. His next court hearing has been scheduled for June 14.

Ardern announced this week that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting in Paris next month seeking to eliminate acts of violent extremism and terrorism from being shown online.

Ardern said she and Macron will ask world leaders and chief executives of technology companies to agree to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call.” She hasn’t release any details of the pledge, saying they are still being developed.

READ MORE: New Zealand and France to call for an end to online terror

Nick Perry, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hope’s only public wheelchair-accessible vehicle stolen

More than 300 clients left in lurch after volunteer group discovers van stolen

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in Manning Park backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

Kilby painting festival wraps up with award-winning art

Kilby Historic Site hosted 26 painters over the three day festival

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Most Read