By KIM VUGA
JUNE 18, 2019
Philip Arps has been found guilty of sharing the much shared and publicised video of the NZ Christchurch massacre.
In the Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said that when questioned about the video, Arps had described it as awesome and shown no empathy towards the victims.
Philip Arps pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the livestreamed video via Facebook in which the gunman killed 51 people.
Justice O’Driscoll said the 44-year-old had unrepentant views about the Muslim community and had in effect, committed a hate crime.
“Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out under the pretext of religious and racial hatred, “he said.
Philip Arps had shared the video a total of 30 times.
Under New Zealand legislation supposedly aimed at preventing the distribution of objectionable material, Philip Arps could have faced up to 14 years imprisonment on each count.
However, Philip Arps is not the only one who will do time in prison for the sharing of the livestreamed video as others in NZ have also been charged.
Philip Arps lawyer argued that his client should not be sent to prison, while Philip Arps argued he had a right to distribute the video under the banner of freedom to pursue his political beliefs.
Arps defence lawyer Anselm Williams said,
“It’s my submission that this court needs to be very careful to sentence Mr Arps based on what it is that he has actually done and what he accepts he has done, not on the basis of the views that he holds”.
Philip Arps has now filed an appeal against his sentence in NZ High Court.
Philip Arps sentencing comes at a time when EU political leader Marine Le Pen has also been order by a Paris judge to stand trial to face charges that may see her go to prison for the sharing of ISIS killings on twitter. The charges could see Marine sent to prison for up to 3 years.
The video that was shared by Philip Arps was also shared throughout Australia. Facebook had removed more than 1.5 million videos of the Christchurch attack in the first 24 hours.
New Zealand was always going to make an example out of Philip Arps. One can almost hear the sighs of relief of the others that are waiting for their day in court.
Remember it wasn’t Philip that pulled the trigger.
Remember it wasn’t Philip that loaded his car with weapons.
Philips only crime was to do what the millions of other social media users did that day and the week that followed by sharing the very same video via social media.
How do you prosecute a hand picked few and not the masses?
Philip was a victim too, one of high profile by the making of the New Zealand government, used as a political pawn and used to set a bad example.
Looks like Jacinda Ardern came out on top again….
Oh, what a mess New Zealand!