World News

Timeline: New Zealand to release royal commission report on mosque shootings

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand will release on Tuesday an 800-page royal commission report looking into the killing of 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019.

FILE PHOTO: People visit a memorial site for victims of Friday's shooting, in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Australian Brenton Tarrant, who expressed white supremacist views and streamed the attack live, was this year sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for New Zealand’s worst mass shooting.

Following is a timeline of the attack and the response:

Mar 15, 2019: A heavily armed gunman attacks two mosques in Christchurch killing 51 Muslim men, women and children and injuring many more who are gathered for Friday prayers. He is apprehended by police while on his way to a third mosque

March 16, 2019: Australian national Brenton Tarrant is charged with one count of murder at a Christchurch court. He is remanded without a plea

Mar 25, 2019: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern orders a royal commission, a major formal public inquiry, into the shooting. It will look at whether anything could have done to prevent this attack and at what should be done to prevent such attacks in the future

April 5, 2019: Tarrant charged with 49 more counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder

April 10, 2019: Lawmakers in New Zealand vote almost unanimously to change gun laws, banning some of the high-capacity semi-automatic weapons used by Tarrant in the attack

May 21, 2019: New Zealand police charge Tarrant with terrorism, the first time such a charge has been brought in the country’s history

June 14, 2019: Tarrant pleads not guilty to all 92 charges

Mar 26, 2020: Tarrant switches his plea to guilty more than a year after the attack

Apr 22, 2020: Royal commission report deadline extended to July 31, allowing for delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadline extended again on July 24, to Nov 26

Aug 24, 2020: Trial begins at a Christchurch court, with many families of the victims seeing Tarrant in person for the first time

Aug 27, 2020: Judge hands Tarrant a life sentence without parole, the first time a court in New Zealand has sentenced a person to prison for the rest of their life

Nov 26, 2020: Royal commission hands its final report to Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. The government says it will release it in parliament on December 8.

Editing by Lincoln Feast