Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Appeal likely for Bissonnette judge's 'unusual' sentencing decision

Appeal likely for Bissonnette judge's 'unusual' sentencing decision

A Canadian man who killed worshippers in a Quebec City mosque in 2017 has been sentenced to life in prison.

Six Muslim men, aged between 39 and 60, were killed when Bissonnette stormed the mosque and opened fire on January 29, 2017.

Last March, Bissonnette pleaded guilty to six count of first-degree murder and six counts of attempted murder in the attack.

The defence had argued Bissonnette should be eligible for parole after 25 years, but Huot said that would be too little.

Justice Francois Huot discarded the prosecution's proposal, however, calling it "unreasonable" and that allowing a prisoner to die in jail would be "cruel and unusual punishment" and contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 2011, Canadian law was amended to allow judges to impose consecutive sentences instead of concurrent 10- or 25-year sentences with no parole eligibility, for multiple murders.

As the 246-page verdict was read over six hours, Bissonnette sat quietly in the courtroom, gazing at his feet while his parents and several friends and family of the victims wiped tears from their eyes.

Abdelkrim Hassane, 41; Khaled Belkacemi, 60; Aboubaker Thabti, 44; Azzeddine Soufiane, 57; and Ibrahima Barry, 39, were all shot in the place of worship.

Netflix launches Smart Downloads feature for iOS users
The feature has been available on the Android version of Netflix since the middle of a year ago . If you download and watch a movie, it's sequel won't automatically load on your tablet or phone.


He said the sentence did not fully reflect the severity of the crimes committed.

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

On the other hand, the judge said, Bissonnette had no previous criminal record, he pleaded guilty and he expressed remorse.

The January 2017 shooting, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced as a "terrorist attack", provoked debate over the treatment of new arrivals at a time when a growing number of migrants crossed from the United States into the province of Quebec.

Six men were killed and five were seriously injured, one of whom is now quadriplegic. 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 disgusting kind of despair".

Huot said Bissonnette's actions in entering the mosque at the end of prayers and shooting congregants were not a terrorist attack, but motivated by prejudice, particularly toward Muslim immigrants.

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

Like this: