Man who shared NZ mosque shooting video online jailed | The Daily Star
03:01 PM, June 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:30 PM, June 18, 2019

Man who shared NZ mosque shooting video online jailed

A New Zealand man was sentenced to almost two years imprisonment for sharing a video of the Christchurch mosque shootings that killed 51 people including five Bangladeshis.

Christchurch District Court on Tuesday sentenced Philip Neville Arps, 44, to 21 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material, his lawyer Anselm Williams confirmed to CNN.

Arps sent copies of the footage -- which was streamed live on March 15 by the mosque shooter -- to about 30 people soon after attacks on worshippers inside two Christchurch mosques, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand.

Shortly after the attack, New Zealand's Office of Film and Literature classified the video as objectionable, making it an offense to possess, share or host it. Under New Zealand law, distributing objectionable material to another person carries a possible prison sentence of up to 14 years.

During sentencing on Tuesday, Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said that when Arps was asked for his opinion on the video, he described it as "awesome," RNZ reported.

"Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred," Judge O'Driscoll said, according to the RNZ report. "It is clear from all the material before me that you have strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim community."

Williams said that his client Arps filed an appeal Tuesday against his sentence, arguing that it is "too stern." A date to hear the appeal has not yet been set.

Arps owns an insulation company named Beneficial Insulation, which uses a Nazi logo that was also featured in an online document published by the alleged Christchurch shooter.

People walk past flowers and tributes displayed in memory of the twin mosque massacre victims outside the Botanical Gardens in Christchurch on April 5, 2019.

Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old accused of carrying out the March 15 attacks, is expected to stand trial next year after pleading not guilty earlier this month to 51 counts of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder, and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act, the first time such a charge has been laid inside the country.

An 18-year-old and a 16-year-old have also been charged over distributing the live steam of the Christchurch videos, according to Williams, who is also representing the teens.

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