Publicado: Lun, Febrero 11, 2019
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Quebec mosque shooter sentenced to life with no parole for 40 years

Quebec mosque shooter sentenced to life with no parole for 40 years

Alexandre Bissonnette, the man responsible for the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting that left six people dead, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years. More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in January 2017 when he began shooting during evening prayers.

However, that minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 25 years is exactly what the defence is calling for.

The dark-haired, slightly-built Bissonnette, who wore a white shirt under a navy blue jacket and handcuffs, had been described by police as a lone-wolf attacker.

The victims were brothers Ibrahima Barry, 39, and Mamadou Tanour Barry, 42, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubake Thabti, 44, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, and Azzedine Soufiane, 57. Prior to the change, someone found guilty of first-degree murder faced a mandatory life term, but was eligible to apply for parole after 25 years.

Armed with a rifle and a handgun, Bissonnette opened fire in a crowded room at the Quebec City mosque shortly after evening prayers two years ago.

But the judge also said Bissonnette's mental health issues, including an obsession with suicide, played a role in the shooting and influenced his sentence.

The killer's "highly premeditated" attack on the mosque will go down in Canadian history "written in blood" as one of this country's worst tragedies, Huot said in court.

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But he rejected the Crown's request for six consecutive life sentences, which would have prevented Bissonnette from seeking parole for 150 years and guaranteed that he end his life behind bars.

In addition to the men killed, five other men were struck by bullets, including Aymen Derbali, who was shot seven times and was paralyzed from the waist down.

They called a 150-year sentence the equivalent of a "death sentence by imprisonment" and said it would be "contrary to human dignity".

Mohamed Labidi, former president of Quebec City's Islamic Cultural Centre, said the Muslim community is looking for justice in Friday's ruling. During a sentencing hearing last June, the conversation began to shift to the appropriate way to punish a crime that was, in many ways, unprecedented in Canadian history.

Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty last March to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder. "I am not a terrorist, I am not an Islamophobe".

He also told investigators he was upset with the Canadian government's plan to accept refugees and that his attack was meant to save his friends and family from Islamist terrorism.

One of the man's victim who was paralyzed in the attack, Aymen Derbali, said that numerous survivors were not pleased with the judge's sentencing.

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