‘Sharing Christchurch killings video’, man jailed for 21-month

Christchurch: A Christchurch businessman who shared a video of worshippers being slaughtered at a New Zealand mosque was sentenced on Tuesday to 21 months in prison.

Philip Arps had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing video, which was livestreamed on Facebook by a gunman on March 15 as he began killing 51 people at two mosques.

Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said that when questioned about video, Arps had described it as “awesome” and had shown no empathy toward victims.

The judge said that Arps had strong and unrepentant views about Muslim community and had, in effect, committed a hate crime.

The judge said that Arps had compared himself to Rudolf Hess, a Nazi leader under Adolf Hitler.

“Your offending glorifies and encourages mass murder carried out under pretext of religious and racial hatred,” judge remarked.

O’Driscoll said Arps had sent video to 30 associates.

In other cases, at least five other people were also charged with illegally sharing shooting video.

An 18-year-old was jailed in March while others weren’t kept in custody.

After hearing, Williams said Arps had filed an appeal against his sentence at High Court, but declined to comment further.

New Zealand has also tightened its gun laws and banned certain types of semi-automatic weapons since attack.

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