Canadian man pleads guilty to killing 6 in Quebec mosque

Clay Curtis
March 29, 2018

The charges against Bissonnette, 28, were related to a shooting attack at the Islamic Cultural Centre in January 2017 in which the six men aged between 39 and 60.

Superior Court Justice Francois Huot agreed Wednesday morning to accept the 12 guilty pleas.

In court, Bissonnette - who police say called an emergency line and confessed shortly after the shooting, sobbing over the phone - read aloud from a crumpled piece of paper, saying: "I bitterly regret what I did, the lives that I destroyed".

The six victims - Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti - were Canadian dual nationals born in Algeria (two), Guinea (two), Morocco and Tunisia, and who had long ago resettled in Quebec. All six men who died were husbands and fathers.

He did not offer any further insight into his motivation for the mass shooting, adding, "I don't know why I committed such a senseless act". "I am ashamed of what I did".

"I do not know why I did a foolish thing like that, and still today I'm having a hard time believing it".

After entering the building, Mr. Bissonnette went directly to the prayer room and began shooting, Mr. Labidi said. When the judge asked if he pleaded guilty to the charges, he answered loudly and clearly: "Oui, monsieur le juge".

"In my heart, it's the decision I have wanted to make in order to avoid a trial and for the victims to not have to relive this tragedy", he told the court on Monday.

Mueller's Office Asks Judge to Imprison Accused Lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan
I think it is fair to say that van der Zwaan, by proximity to his father-in-law, was likely working towards Russian ends as well. Why those six words were added in this filing when they didn't appear in a previous filing is the $64,000 question.

The judge ordered that a psychological assessment be conducted before he would accept the revised plea. The killer explained he made a decision to admit his guilt several months ago because he didn't want thousands of people, including the families and living victims, "to relive this tragedy".

The psychiatrist who met with Bissonnette told the court Wednesday he knew what his plea entailed, and had meant to plead guilty for several months.

"I find you guilty of these murders", he said.

Bissonnette faces at least 25 years in prison, and could receive concurrent sentences totaling more than 100 years.

When Huot asked him if he was fully aware of what he was doing, Bissonnette replied, "Yes".

His lawyers said they intend to challenge the constitutionality of consecutive sentences.

He also said he was not changing his pleas because of any threats and that he was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

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