Sentencing for Quebec mosque shooter delayed until early 2019
MONTREAL, Canada - The man who pleaded guilty to killing six Muslim men at a mosque in the Canadian province of Quebec will not be sentenced until next year.
Quebec Court Judge Francois Huot said on Friday that he needs more time to make a decision on sentencing for Alexandre Bissonnette, Montreal newspaper La Presse reported.
The sentence was originally expected to be delivered on 29 October.
“I intend to try to come to a decision by the end of January,” Huot said, as reported by La Presse. “I know the importance of this decision and it requires many legal considerations.”
Bissonnette pleaded guilty in March to six counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder in the attack on the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City on 29 January 2017.
Six people were killed and dozens of others were injured in the shooting, which took place shortly after evening prayers.
The National Council of Canadian Muslims, a national advocacy group, said the delay in sentencing was “devastating” for the families of the victims.
“Devastating that the families must continue to wait for closure, but we are hopeful justice will come despite the delay,” the group said on Twitter.
The Crown, which has argued the attack was motivated by anti-Muslim hatred, has asked for Bissonnette to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole before 150 years.
Bissonnette’s defence team has questioned the harshness of such a decision, however, saying it amounts to a death sentence.
The next hearing in the case will be held on 21 November.