Transcript of letter Alexandre Bissonnette read out in Quebec courtroom
A judge on Wednesday accepted Alexandre Bissonnette's guilty pleas to six charges of first-degree murder and six of attempted murder in connection with the shooting at a Quebec City mosque in January 2017. Here is a translation by The Canadian Press of the letter he read out in court:
At this moment, as I am free to say everything that is on my mind and in my heart, I would like to tell you, Your Honour and everyone else, that every minute of my existence I bitterly regret what I did, the lives I have destroyed, the pain and suffering I have caused to so many people, without forgetting the members of my own family.
I am ashamed. Ashamed of what I did.
I do not know why I committed such an insane act and, still today, I have trouble believing it.
Despite what has been said about me, I am neither a terrorist nor an Islamophobe.
Rather, I am someone who was overcome by fear, by negative thoughts and a sort of horrible kind of despair.
I had been having suicidal thoughts and ideas and an obsession with death for a long time. It's as though I was battling a demon that finished by winning out.
I would so much like to go back in time and change things. Sometimes, I have the impression that all of this is only a horrible dream, a long nightmare.
I would like to ask for forgiveness for all the hurt I have caused you. I know my actions are unforgivable.
If, at least in pleading guilty, I can do a bit of good, there will be that.
So that is why, Your Honour, I have pleaded guilty.