The killer alleges that the offenses were obtained under duress, and that he was subjected to “inhumane” insults.
A Christchurch mosque man is considering appealing to life in prison for the 2019 massacre, saying his crimes were handed down under duress, his lawyer said on Monday.
Brenton Tarrant, who called himself a white man, pleaded guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of murder and one count of terrorism in March last year.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment without a warrant, the first time a life sentence had been granted in New Zealand.
Tarrant did not provide protection at the time, but his lawyer Tony Ellis said the 31-year-old Australian citizen now doubted his decision to plead guilty.
Ellis said the gunman told him the complaints had been dropped because he had been “brutal and abusive” when he was arrested.
“He thought the easiest way was to plead guilty,” Ellis told Radio New Zealand.
Armed with assault rifles, Tarrant attacked worshipers Friday at Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque and Linwood chapel in March 2019, demonstrating the killing he was on. All the victims were Muslims and children, women and the elderly.
Ellis allegedly took over the role of Tarrant’s attorney in the presence of a forensic investigator and advised his client to exercise his right to appeal.
He said Tarrant gave him about 15 pages detailing his abuse.
“By this, it means he was abused or imprisoned while in prison, which precluded prosecution,” Ellis wrote last week in letters to the chief coroner, according to Stuff, a New Zealand journalist.
In a letter to the coroner, Ellis stressed that every defendant or perpetrator has the right to exercise his or her right to a court appearance.
“He was sentenced to more than 25 years.
New Zealand has no death penalty and in passing sentence in August last year, Judge Cameron Mander said he was giving a very difficult time because of the “cruelty” of the Tarrant.
“Your offenses are very serious, so even if you are imprisoned until you die it will not meet the requirements of punishment and reprimand,” Mander said at the time.
Ellis declined to comment when contacted by AFP, claiming that his client had asked him to speak to local radio stations.
There is no immediate response from Coroners Court.
Abdullah Naeem, whose brother and father were killed in the attack, told Stuff that the killer was “playing a game”.
Naeem, who spoke on behalf of the Whānau Trust on March 15, said he hoped the law would ban appeals, so that families do not suffer too much.
He said: “Imprisonment is a lenient sentence for what he did. “Every good law refuses his request and I believe it will happen.”