A man who entered a guilty plea in connection with the slaying of six men in a Surrey, B.C., high-rise apartment has been handed a life sentence.

A British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that 27-year-old Dennis Karbovanec must spend at least the next 15 years in prison before he can apply for parole.

The decision comes just days after Karbovanec pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy in the October 2007 murders.

However, a publication ban, which was granted by B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm, prevents news outlets from publishing key details in the case, such as the reasons for Karbovanec's guilty plea and what went on inside the apartment on the day that they six men were killed.

Dohm said the ban on evidence is necessary to protect the right of a fair trial for three other men who are also charged in the murders.

Police have linked the killings of six men -- including two innocent bystanders -- found dead in a high-rise apartment to a bloody gang war.

It's a battle that has seen more than 100 shootings in recent years and almost four dozen since mid-January, 19 of them fatal.

Twenty-four-year-old Cody Rae Haevischer is charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy and is scheduled to appear in court again on May 15.

Also charged are 24-year-old Matthew Johnson, who faces the same charges, and 23-year-old Jamie Kyle Bacon, who is charged with one count of first-degree murder and conspiracy.

Thursday's B.C. Supreme Court hearing featured tight security as well as a large contingent of television and newspaper reporters.

With a report by The Canadian Press