Quebec City (AFP) – A Canadian man known for his right-wing nationalist sympathies, pleaded guilty on Wednesday when six believers were murdered in a mosque in Quebec last year – a surprising turn in a case that the country shocked
Immediately thereafter described by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a "terrorist attack", the shooting was a heavy blow to Canada's multicultural society and a nation that welcomes tens of thousands of refugees each year.
Alexandre Bissonnette, 28, opened fire on a cold, snowy night at the end of Sunday prayers at Québec's Islamic Cultural Center, a mosque in a normally quiet neighborhood
He was on trial on the advice of his lawyers at the beginning of the trial pleading not guilty, but apparently changing his heart
"I have decided to plead guilty to all charges … to prevent victims' families from" reliving the horrors of the attack, "Bissonnette said.  The courtroom as Judge Francois Huot accepted Bissonne's confession after a judicial psychiatric review.
"I find you guilty of these murders," he said.
Bissonnette who at the time of shooting, could now be a life sentence or at least 25 years Ge be punished.
In court on Wednesday, Bissonnette – who says police, called an emergency line and confessed shortly after shooting – read from a crumpled piece He said: "I bitterly regret what I've done, the life I've destroyed. "
"I am neither a terrorist nor an Islamophobe," he said.
"I do not know why I acted so stupid, and even today I find it hard to believe it."
– & # 39; Unforgivable & # 39; –
Introverted and educated, Bissonnette had been described as a white racist against Muslim immigration following his arrest, but was not affiliated with any group.
He told the court on Wednesday how he was "swept away" by fear and appalling despair that had conjured up suicidal thoughts.
He turned to the families and friends of the victims and survivors who came to the courtroom, apologized, but added, "I know that my actions are unforgivable. "19659017] The six victims – Ibrahima Barry, Mamadou Tanou Barry, Khaled Belkacemi, Abdelkrim Hassane, Azzeddine Soufiane and Aboubaker Thabti – were Canadian dual nationals who were born in Algeria (two), Guinea (two), Morocco and Tunisia long ago
You were a scholar, a butcher, a caregiver, a food industry worker, an official, and a computer programmer – all joined by faith.
The attack immediately led to marches of solidarity with the international community, but also nationalists and right-wing extremists, who grew louder against immigration and "radical Islam," even though they distanced themselves from the young attacker, who was inspired by their rhetoric.