Canada jails Quebec mosque shooter, no parole for 40 years

Men gather to pray inside the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre where the Jan. 29 2017 attack took place

A French-Canadian man who shot dead six Muslim men in a Quebec City mosque in 2017 has been sentenced to serve 40 years in prison before being eligible for parole. More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in January 2017 when he began shooting during evening prayers.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Alexandre Bissonnette had already been sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 35 years.

The judge told Bissonnette, wearing a blue blazer and white shirt, to leave the prisoners' box and stand in front of him as he read his decision.

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

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.

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The judge said that in the years leading up to the shooting Bissonnette increasingly drank alcohol and experienced anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Superior Court Justice François Huot is set to hand down Friday a sentence for gunman Alexandre Bissonnette.

Boufeldja Benabdallah, president of the mosque that was attacked, said community members were "stunned" by the decision and felt the judge was more concerned about the dignity of the killer than that of the victims and their families.

Outside the courtroom, Aymen Derbali, who was left quadriplegic in the shooting, said he was "very upset and astonished" that Bissonnette did not get more time.

Six people were killed and 19 others were injured.

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The Crown, which argued during trial that anti-Muslim hatred underpinned the attack, had asked the court to sentence Bissonnette to life in prison without the possibility of parole before 150 years.

Ahmed Cheddadi, who was wounded in the attack, said the sentence was appropriate in that he found it unlikely that Bissonnette would ever be released. The sixth attempted murder charge related to others who were nearby in the mosque.

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.

Like the rest of the world, Islamophobia has become a problem in Canada.

Bissonnette could be looking at the longest sentence in Canadian history. "I am not a terrorist, I am not an Islamophobe".

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But the bigger picture remains weak. "Consumers and investors are both uncertain about the British economy". It was little changed at $1.2944 as of 1:36 p.m.in London.


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.

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