New Zealand mosque killer faces 'unprecedented' sentence

Suspected New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant faces an "unprecedented" sentence that bars him from ever applying for release, legal experts told AFP on Monday (March 18th).

The 28-year-old Australian has been charged with one initial count of murder over the mass shootings that killed 50 people in the southern city of Christchurch and faces life in prison.

In New Zealand, being found guilty of murder usually comes with a minimum of 10 years in jail before possible parole.

But legal experts said Tarrant's alleged crimes were so extreme they could warrant the heaviest sentence imposed by a judge in the nation since the abolition of the death penalty in 1961.

"He may be sentenced to imprisonment without parole. There is a very significant possibility," criminal lawyer Simon Cullen told AFP, adding that such a sentence would be "unprecedented".

Egypt said Saturday that four of its citizens were among the worshippers killed, with the Ministry of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs naming them as Munir Suleiman, Ahmad Gamaluddin Abdel Ghani, Ashraf al-Morsi and Ashraf al-Masri.

One Saudi citizen and four Jordanians also were among the dead.

Egypt's Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram will head to New Zealand on Tuesday to visit the 11 Egyptians injured in the attacks, Ahram Online reported Monday.

The four slain Jordanians have been named as Abdulfattah Qasem Ibrahim Qasim, Ali Mahmoud Abdullah Madani, Ata Mohammad Ata Elyyan and Kamel Mohammad-Kamal Kamel Darwish, the Jordan Times reported.

Five Jordanians shot in the attack are still in hospital, including 4-year-old Alin Alsati and her father, the newspaper said.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters on Sunday promised they are receiving the best medical attention.

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