Brenton Tarrant, the gunman, submitted the appeal last week, according to confirmation from New Zealand’s Court of Appeal on Tuesday. A hearing date has not yet been established, the court stated.
In March 2019, white supremacist Tarrant shot and killed people attending Friday prayers at two mosques in Christchurch. He carried out the attack while livestreaming it on Facebook, leaving dozens of others with serious injuries.
Tarrant entered a guilty plea to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder, and one count of terrorism the following year. The harshest punishment possible in New Zealand life in jail without the possibility of parole was given to him.
The details of his appeal were not immediately made available by the court.
Tarrant fired one of his lawyers in 2021, and it wasn’t immediately clear if another lawyer was representing him in his appeal or if he was representing himself.
Temel Atacocugu, who survived after being shot nine times during the attack at the Al Noor mosque, told news outlet Stuff that the gunman was playing games and seeking attention by filing the appeal.
“I would like to tell him: ‘Grow up, be a man and die quietly in jail, because that is what you deserve,'” Atacocugu said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she’d made a pledge a long time ago not to publicly say the terrorist’s name.
“His is a story that should not be told and his is a name that should not be repeated and I am going to apply that same rule in commenting on his attempts to revictimize people,” Ardern said. “We should give him nothing.”
The attacks prompted New Zealand to quickly pass new laws which banned the deadliest types of semi-automatic weapons. In a subsequent buyback scheme, gun owners handed over more than 50,000 weapons to police. The attacks also prompted global changes to social media, as tech companies sought to prevent or quickly stop future attacks from being livestreamed.