The owner of a "Nazi-themed" insulation company in Christchurch, New Zealand has been jailed for distributing the video of a deadly shooting spree committed at two mosques. He reportedly said the video was "awesome."
Philip Arps, a small businessman in Christchurch, New Zealand, was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Tuesday for distributing the video of a shooting massacre that took place at two mosques in the city on March 15. Fifty people were killed in the attacks.
New Zealand's chief censor had made it a criminal offense after the attack to view, posses or distribute the video and the manifesto written by Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist who allegedly carried out the shooting.
Arps pleaded guilty to two counts of distributing the mosque video in April. Prosecutors said that the 44-year-old sent the footage to an unknown person and asked that cross hairs and a kill count be added to it. Prosecutors said he then forwarded the entire 17-minute video to 30 people.
The video was filmed with a helmet-mounted camera and live-streamed on Facebook. According to local news website Stuff, Judge Stephen O'Driscoll said that Arps had described the video as "awesome."
White supremacy symbolism
The insulation company owned by Arps uses a black sun logo, which is commonly used as a neo-Nazi symbol.
The judge reportedly said that Arps compared himself to Rudolf Hess, a Nazi leader under Adolf Hitler.
According to media reports, the company says it charges NZ$14.88 per-meter for insulation, an overt reference to a white supremacist slogan and Adolf Hitler.
Tarrant has been charged with terrorism and 50 counts of murder. He has pleaded not guilty. The trial is set to begin in May 2020.
wmr/amp (AP, dpa)