‘You won’t hear me speak his name’: New Zealand PM determined to deny gunman notoriety

‘You won’t hear me speak his name’: New Zealand PM determined to deny gunman notoriety

The white supremacist accused of gunning down 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand has dismissed his lawyer and opted to represent himself at trial

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The white supremacist accused of gunning down 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand has dismissed his lawyer and opted to represent himself at trial, prompting the prime minister to declare Tuesday that she would do everything in her power to deny him a platform for his racist views.Story continues below

“I agree that it is absolutely something that we need to acknowledge, and do what we can to prevent the notoriety that this individual seeks,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters. “He obviously had a range of reasons for committing this atrocious terrorist attack. Lifting his profile was one of them. And that’s something that we can absolutely deny him.”Asked if she would like the trial to occur behind closed doors, Ardern demurred, saying that was not her decision to make.“One thing I can assure you — you won’t hear me speak his name,” she said.READ MORE: New Zealand prepares to bury victims from Christchurch mosque shootingsThe gunman’s desire for infamy was made clear by the fact that he left behind a convoluted 74-page manifesto before Friday’s massacre and livestreamed footage of his attack on the Al Noor mosque.The video prompted widespread revulsion and condemnation. Facebook said it removed 1.5 million versions of the video during the first 24 hours after the massacre. But on Tuesday, Ardern expressed frustration that the video remained available online, four days after the attack.“We have been in contact with Facebook; they have given us updates on their efforts to have it removed, but as I say, it’s our view that it cannot — should not — be distributed, available, able to be viewed,” she said. “It is horrendous and while they’ve given us those assurances, ultimately the responsibility does sit with them.”WATCH: Man who lost his wife says he forgives suspected shooter

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