Christchurch terror accused faces 50 murder charges - Dindar Haber - DiniHabergentr

Christchurch terror accused faces 50 murder charges

The gunman accused of the Christchurch terror attack is facing 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges.

Police have announced the fresh charges against Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who is due to appear in the High Court in Christchurch tomorrow.

They said other charges are still under consideration.

The 28-year-old first appeared in the District Court on March 16.

A day earlier, on March 15, 50 people were killed at the city's Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Centre.

Dozens more were wounded.

The High Court received 12 applications from both New Zealand media and foreign organisations to film, take photographs, or make audio recordings at Friday's hearing.

But Justice Cameron Mander declined the applications.

In a minute issued to the media this week, he said factors in making his decision to refuse the requests were to preserve the integrity of the trial process and ensure a fair trial.

Journalists will, however, be permitted to remain in the courtroom and take notes, while newspapers and broadcasters are still able to use images of the accused which were taken at the District Court hearing.

But those images will remain pixelated after an order by Judge Paul Kellar for the defendant's face to be blurred in any published images. The order will remain in force until further ruling by a judge.

Will the accused be in court in person on Friday?
No. The 28-year-old accused terrorist was remanded in custody at his first appearance and has since been held at New Zealand's only maximum security prison in Paremoremo, Auckland.

Justice Mander ruled the accused will appear in court on Friday via audio-visual link from prison instead.

This is not an uncommon practice - people appear in courts all across New Zealand everyday by way of a television screen.

What will happen? Will he enter a plea?
The accused will not be required to enter pleas to charges he currently faces.

There is also the possibility the Crown will seek to try him under the seldom-used Terrorism Suppression Act, which was introduced after the September 11 US terrorist attacks.

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