Christchurch mosque shooting accused pleads not guilty before court

Brenton Tarrant has pleaded not guilty to 51 murder charges. Source AAP

Janna Ezat, wearing a T-shirt in memorial of her son who was killed at Al Noor mosque on March 15, reacts outside the Christchurch High Court after accused gunman Brenton Tarrant pleaded not guilty to all charges, New Zealand June 14, 2019.

Linwood Mosque imam Alabi Lateef Zirullah was at the High Court today for the appearance of the man accused of killing 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques in March.

Court security and police intervened after the confrontation.

After hearing the man supporting white supremacist speech, Mr Aziz confronted the hooded man.

It was important he was there today, he said, but it has left him "feeling nothing".

Tarrant, who called from the maximum-security Auckland Prison, was seen by a packed courtroom containing some 80 survivors of the attacks and family members of the victims.

Watching the proceedings in the High Court at Christchurch by video from prison, Tarrant smiled as his lawyer entered the pleas to all 92 charges.

"He's a coward. And behind the cell he's laughing", Aziz said.

"It was very hard for us even just to look at him".

Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national, was committed to stand trial next year on 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and engaging in a terrorist act.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed never to say the accused man's name.

"We are innocent people but we are strong. He will lose", told reporters.

Two further court rooms and some 200 seats were set aside for the public and police maintained a heavy presence through the building.

At his last court appearance in April, he was ordered to undergo mental health assessments to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.

In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch, in New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting.

But Christchurch's Muslim community has welcomed the decision by prosecutors to treat the shootings as an act of terrorism.

But Temal Atacocugu, who was shot nine times in the 15 March attacks, fronted media with a message of strength and solidarity.

He is now being kept in isolation at the Auckland Prison in Paremoremo, considered New Zealand's toughest prison.

Amid concerns his trial could be used to espoused far-right extremist views, New Zealand's major media organisations have agreed to self-imposed restrictions on reporting.

The suspect was arrested on 15 March for his alleged involvement in the shootings at the Al Noor mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre, both located in Christchurch.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Climate change seen posing threat to global peace in next 10 years
Despite all the violence and conflicts of the world has become, for the first time since 2013, a little more peaceful. This was partly due to Syria losing its tag as the world's least peaceful country and Iraq showing signs of recovery.

U.S. Open Live Stream
Opens, rode a wave of momentum into Pebble Beach, coming off a rampaging win at the Canadian Open. So did Fowler, Xander Schauffele , Louis Oosthuizen and Aaron Wise , all in a group at 5 under.

Trump teases 'Phase two' of U.S.-Mexico border deal
This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States . Details of the agreement will be released shortly by the State Department.

Mom accused of yelling at son's bullies arrested, charged
Rathburn had reportedly contacted a teacher at Greenbrier Elementary School in December after a kid had made fun of her son. Rathburn admitted on video that "she snuck into the school and confronted kids that she estimated to be nine years old".

How Arsenal Transfer News Affect Their Odds to Win?
Other players rumored to be destined for Arsenal include; Sokratis Papastathopoulos, from Borussia Dortmund, and Saul Niguez. If they are rumored to buy an elite player, during the transfer window, they play well which increases the odds of winning.

Other news