Philip Arps, a Christchurch resident, pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the Mosque shooting video. He will remain in jail until June, 14th, 2019 when he could be sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in prison.
The 44-year-old businessman was accused of sending the video to an unknown person, with the instructions of editing it into a meme version of the video by inserting crosshairs and a kill count and then forwarding to 30 of his associates.
The video of the massacre was recorded with the gunman's helmet-mounted camera and live-streamed on Facebook. Although tech companies reacted quickly to remove it, the 17 minute video made it to the web and was extensively viewed and copied.
According to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, this was an unprecedented way to promote an act of terrorism and hate. Chief Censor David Shanks has declared illegal the sharing of both the video and the manifesto written by the perpetrator. As a result, possession, distribution, and vision of both materials are forbidden in New Zealand.
Arps has been imprisoned this March together with one other person, an 18-year-old. There are at least four other people that have been charged with illegal sharing of the video, although not being kept in custody.
The 18-year-old is charged with both sharing the video and still images of the Mosque with the words “target acquired”. He will reappear in court later on in July when an electronically-monitored bail will be evaluated.
The 28-year-old NZ shooter, has been charged with a total of 50 murders and 39 attempted murders during the attacks. His next hearing in court has been planned for the June, 14th.
New Zealand’s PM announced this week that she will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris next month, to discuss new strategies in an attempt to eliminate acts of violence and extremism from being shown online.
She and Macron will ask world leaders and tech CEOs to agree to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call.” So far no details of the pledge have been released, as the PM stated that they are at work to define the terms.
image source: Facebook