Canadian man behind mosque massacre appeals sentence

Alexandre Bissonnette was convicted on February 8 to life imprisonment for the murders, the deadliest attack on a Muslim place of worship in the West. (AFP pic)

MONTREAL: A Canadian man sentenced to 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole for the killing of six worshippers at a Quebec mosque in January 2017 has launched an appeal, local media reported Friday.

Alexandre Bissonnette was convicted on February 8 to life imprisonment for the murders, the deadliest attack on a Muslim place of worship in the West.

On January 29 2017, Bissonette opened fire on around 40 men and four children who were chatting after prayers in the grand hall of the ground floor, killing six men and seriously wounding five others.

In their appeal at the Quebec courthouse, Bisonnette’s lawyers argued that Judge Francois Hout had imposed “an illegal punishment, manifestly unreasonable and not indicated in ordering 40 years imprisonment before being eligible for parole,” according to the public Radio-Canada.

The verdict, preventing Bissonnette from applying for parole before his 67th birthday, was considered too lenient by the president of the mosque, Boufeldja Benabdallah.

The prosecution had for its part claimed a sentence of 150 years in prison, a request described as “unreasonable” and unconstitutional by Judge Hout.