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Mosque shooter gets life, no parole for 40 years in Canada

11 February 2019

The defence argued the sentences should be served concurrently, which would have made him eligible for parole after 25 years.

In the end he sentenced Bissonnette to concurrent life sentences for five murders, and on the sixth added 15 years to bring the total to 40.

"I am ashamed of what I did", he told a Quebec courtroom at the time.

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.

The charges resulted from his January 29, 2017 attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre that left six men dead: Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39.

Mohamed Labidi, former president of Quebec City's Islamic Cultural Centre, said the Muslim community is looking for justice in Friday's ruling.

The sentencing of Alexandre Bissonnette by Quebec Superior Court Judge François Huot is being closely watched for its legal repercussions, since the 29-year-old faces the possibility of an unprecedented 150 years in jail without the chance of parole.

"You killed six of your compatriots whose only crime was to be different than yourself", Mr Huot said in court.

The victims were brothers Ibrahima Barry, 39, and Mamadou Tanour Barry, 42, Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Aboubake Thabti, 44, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, and Azzedine Soufiane, 57.

While serial killer Bruce McArthur was handed 25 years of parole ineligibility in a Toronto courtroom this morning, the longest prison sentence in Canadian history could be handed out to another mass murderer.

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

"I'm impressed", Barbacki said.

Six people were killed and 19 others were injured.

Witnesses at the time described the former Universite Laval student entering the Islamic Cultural Centre and calmly opening fire on the crowd gathered for evening prayers. In a statement read in court, he said he was "neither a terrorist nor an Islamophobe", but rather someone who was "overcome by fear, by negative thoughts and a sort of frightful kind of despair".

He also told investigators he was upset with the Canadian government's plan to accept refugees and that his attack was meant to save his friends and family from Islamist terrorism.

Bissonnette's lawyers had argued that if he was sentenced to 25 years consecutively for each murder it would amount to death by incarceration.

However, in the two years since the attack, some in the Muslim community say the outpouring of support has dried up.

Mosque shooter gets life, no parole for 40 years in Canada