According to recent reports, a New Zealand man is set to appear in court to defend himself against charges that he shared the livestream footage of the recent Christchurch shooting, which could have penalties as severe as ten years in prison.
Radio New Zealand reports that a 22-year-old man is set to appear in court after being arrested during initial investigations into the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand on Friday. He is not charged with participating in the horrific attack, but rather the young man has been charged under the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act for sharing the livestream footage posted by the shooter in the Christchurch mosque shooting. The man will appear in Christchurch District Court.
Police have stated that they do not believe the man was involved in the attacks, he simply shared the livestream which has been classified as “objectionable” by the Chief Censor’s Office. Police have stated that any individuals possessing copies of the livestream could face imprisonment. Wellington Live New Zealand shared a post on their Facebook page recently which appears to provide more information surrounding the legality of the livestream. The post reads:
#IMPORTANT NZ police would like to remind the public that it is an offence to share an objectional publication which includes the horrific video from yesterday’s attack. If you see this video, report it immediately. Do not download it. Do not share it. If you are found to have a copy of the video or to have shared it, you face fines & potential imprisonment.
— What are the penalties for possession or trading in objectionable material? —
Anybody found “knowingly” in possession of objectionable material can receive a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.
Every time a person downloads objectionable material onto their screen, there is the potential for a possession offence having been committed.
Anybody who knowingly makes or knowingly trades, distributes, or displays an objectionable publication via the Internet can receive a maximum of 14 years imprisonment.
A body corporate can be fined up to (176,865.94 EUR) $200,000..
(INFORMATION FROM DIA: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Censorship-Objectionable-and-Restri…)
50 people were killed during the shooting at Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park and the Linwood Mosque on Friday. 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant was charged with murder over the shooting. Breitbart News recently reported that despite the Masters of the Universe best efforts to stop the spread of the livestream which showed the horrific shooting in full, due to the nature of the internet it is likely impossible to stop the video from appearing across the web.