Australia

New Zealand white supremacist jailed for sharing footage of Christchurch mosque attacks

Philip Neville Arps appears for sentencing in the Christchurch District Court. Source: The Press Pool

A self-described white supremacist who shared footage of the Al Noor Mosque attack has been jailed.

A New Zealand man has been jailed for 21 months for distributing gruesome livestream video of the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers,.

Philip Arps, 44, was arrested in Christchurch four days after alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant's March 15 rampage at two mosques in the South Island city resulted in the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history.

Arps pleaded guilty to two charges of distributing objectionable material for sharing footage that was livestreamed to social media during the attack.

Christchurch District Court heard Arps distributed the raw footage to about 30 people and had another version that was modified to include crosshairs and a "kill count", the New Zealand Herald reported.

"This was in effect a hate crime against the Muslim community," judge Stephen O'Driscoll said.

Brenton Tarrant has been accused of the  Christchurch mosque shootings.
Brenton Tarrant has been accused of the Christchurch mosque shootings.
New Zealand Herald

He said it was "particularly cruel" to share the video in the days after the attacks, when relatives were still waiting to hear news of their loved ones.

O'Driscoll found that Arps had set out to "glorify" the deaths of Muslims and any punishment other than imprisonment was inappropriate, Radio New Zealand reported.

New Zealand's chief censor David Shanks classified the video from the mosque shooting as objectionable content soon after the shooting, making sharing the footage a crime punishable by up to 14 years in jail.

Shanks also outlawed publication of the rambling "manifesto" the shooter posted online before the attacks, saying it was intended to inspire "murder and terrorism". 

Arps, a self-described white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of offensive behaviour for leaving a pig's head at the Al Noor mosque.
Arps, a self-described white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of offensive behaviour for leaving a pig's head at the Al Noor mosque.
AAP

Arps, a self-described white supremacist, was convicted in 2016 of offensive behaviour for leaving a pig's head at the Al Noor mosque, one of those that was targeted in the mass shooting, Newshub reported.

Tarrant last week pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges, as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder.

He was committed to stand trial in May next year.

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