Teen Faces 14 Years in Jail for Sharing Live Steam of New Zealand Mosque Attack
18-year-old denied bail for sharing Facebook posts about Christchurch shooting massacre
An 18-year-old New Zealand man is facing 14 years in prison for sharing a live stream video on Facebook of the Christchurch mosque shooting massacre after he was denied bail in a Monday court hearing.
Police say the teenager, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not involved in the tragic attack last Friday that left 50 people dead and many more injured.
A 28-year-old Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, has been charged with the Friday afternoon murders.
The teen Facebook poster appeared before Christchurch District Court on Monday and was denied bail by Judge Stephen O'Driscoll but granted an interim name suppression order.
Aside from sharing the Facebook Live video, the young man has also been charged with allegedly posting a photograph on social media of one of the South Island mosques being attacked with the caption "target acquired" along with other messages "inciting extreme violence."
In response to the attacks, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed she is moving to tighten national gun laws, following one of the world's worst peacetime shooting massacres in history.
According to the Daily Mail, the details behind the alleged Facebook poster's bail decision cannot be published.
He is due to reappear in court in April and, if found guilty, could face up to 14 years in jail.
Facebook earlier said it had taken down 1.5 million copies of footage of the shooting that had been live-streamed by Tarrant in the 24 hours after the carnage.
Last week, authorities and telecommunications companies were also scrambled to have the videos taken down and urged the public not to share them.
Ms Ardern said she had contacted Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg to voice her concerns about the social media giant's sharing of extremist live-streaming material.
"I haven't spoken to her directly but she has reached out, an acknowledgment of what has occurred here in New Zealand," she told reporters on Monday.
"This is an issue that I will look to be discussing directly with Facebook."
The New Zealand Prime Minister also confirmed she would push to reform the nation's gun laws, which haven't changed since 1992.
"To make our community safer, the time to act is now," she told reporters on Monday.
New Zealand's cabinet has agreed, in principle, to a range of gun reforms, but Ms. Ardern declined to provide more detail at this stage.
The proposed changes could be announced before the cabinet meets again next week.
Semi-automatic assault rifles are expected to be banned in New Zealand, and gun owners are likely to face stricter registration criteria.
"There are details to work through," Ms. Ardern said.
"These aren't simple areas of law, so that's simply what we'll be taking the time to get right."
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who heads the conservative New Zealand First party, endorsed the plan.
"At 1 pm on the 15th of March our world changed forever, and so will our gun laws," Mr. Peters said.
New Zealand amended its gun laws in 1992, after the Aramoana massacre of November 1990, which saw 13 people shot dead in a small township near Dunedin, following a neighborhood dispute.
Background checks and special permits were introduced 26 years ago, however, New Zealand lacks a national gun registry.
The Christchurch shooting was also New Zealand's first mass shooting since 1994.
New Zealand's gun lobby thwarted attempts to reform gun laws in 1999, 2005, 2012 and 2017.
Australia banned automatic and semi-automatic assault rifles following the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania, where 35 people were killed.
When it comes to firearm-only atrocities in a Western nation involving a lone gunman, the death toll in Christchurch, so far, is second only to the Las Vegas carnage of October 2017 which saw 58 people shot dead in the United States.
Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik killed more people in July 2011, but he had also used an explosive device before shooting dead 69 participants of a Workers Youth League summer camp on the island of Utoya.