Quebec Mosque Shooter Alexandre Bissonnette's Sentencing Underway

Quebec mosque shooter Alexandre Bissonnette to be sentenced Friday

Alexandre Bissonnette, the man responsible for the 2017 Quebec City mosque shooting that left six people dead, has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 40 years.

Bissonnette pleaded guilty last March to six counts of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder.

Quebec prosecutors had asked that Bissonnette serve consecutive sentences for each charge, for a total of 150 years in prison without parole.

The attack at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in the quiet Sainte-Foy neighborhood of Canada's oldest city, he concluded, will go down in Canadian history "written in blood" as one of this country's worst tragedies.

Prosecutors had said that Alexandre Bissonnette's crime was so hateful and so obviously motivated by bigotry that he should receive the maximum penalty of 25 years for each of the victims the 29-year-old murdered on the night of January 29, 2017.

In March, Bissonnette admitted to killing Khaled Belkacemi, 60, Azzedine Soufiane, 57, Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, Mamadou Tanou Barry, 42, Aboubaker Thabti, 44, and Ibrahima Barry, 39, in the January attack. His lawyer had argued the sentences should be served concurrently, making him eligible for parole after 25 years.

Alexandre Bissonnette arrives at the court house in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.


"(The decision) does seem unusual, but it's also very consistent with what some judges are saying, not just about this section, but about sentencing and the larger discussion about these sections in the Criminal Code", she said.

This was a Reuters error as the judge was still reading his judgment.

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. Bissonnette's parents were also present.

Six men were killed and five were seriously injured.

Following hearings previous year, the sentence was expected to be handed down in October, but the judge delayed it to have more time to ponder his decision. Several of the survivors and the victims' families had argued for a sentence longer than 25 years, noting the heinous nature of the crime and the lasting trauma it caused for the Muslim community.

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.

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