Canadian gets life sentence for killing six in Quebec mosque shooting

10 February, 2019, 23:30 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Alexandre Bissonnette

A Quebec Superior Court justice sentenced Bissonnette to life in prison without any possibility of parole for 40 years for killing six men in a Quebec City mosque.

Alexandre Bissonnette, 29, pleaded guilty past year to six counts of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder for the attack, a rare Canadian mass shooting, QNA said in a report.

Crown prosecutor Thomas Jacques had urged the judge to sentence Bissonnette to 150 years - the maximum 25 years for each of the six victims - before he was eligible for parole.

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.

He argued a 150-year term would be the equivalent of a death sentence.

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.

Bissonnette's parents and members of Quebec City's Muslim community were present for the sentencing.

In March, Bissonnette admitted to killing Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Azzedine Soufiane, 57, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, in the January attack.

"We were astonished, we were very upset after this sentence", Derbali said.

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The longest sentences to date in Canada is 75 years without parole, which has been handed down in five cases - all involving triple murders.

The judge read out segments of his 246-page decision as a packed courtroom sat for six hours.

"He really backed himself up, to use the expression", he said.

Silver agreed that the Bissonnette sentencing is also likely to be appealed, and she believes that's a good thing.

Huot agreed with the prosecution that Bissonnette's actions were exceptionally callous.

A decision on sentencing was originally expected in October, but Huot pushed that back, saying he needed more information on some legal questions, including the constitutionality of consecutive life sentences. Six people were killed and 19 others were injured.

Several of the survivors and the victims' families had argued for a sentenced that required more than 25 years before parole eligibility, noting the heinous nature of the crime and the lasting trauma it caused for the Muslim community.

But Renald Beaudry, a criminal lawyer who was at Bissonnette's sentencing, doesn't think the sentence would be easy to overturn.

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