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Home / World News / Accused Christchurch gunman to face 50 murder charges: New Zealand police

Accused Christchurch gunman to face 50 murder charges: New Zealand police

Apart from the 50 murder charges, the accused gunman in the Christchurch mosque attack will also face 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in the high court in Christchurch on Friday.

world Updated: Apr 04, 2019 09:32 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Christchurch (New Zealand)
A police officer patrols a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. The main accused gunman will face 50 murder charges in his next appearance in court on Friday.
A police officer patrols a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. The main accused gunman will face 50 murder charges in his next appearance in court on Friday.(AP)

The man accused of carrying out the Christchurch mosque attacks last month will face 50 murder charges when he appears in court this week, New Zealand police said Thursday.

Australian Brenton Tarrant was previously charged with one murder as a holding measure, but police said all the deaths and injuries in the March 15 attacks would be reflected in upgraded charges during his next appearance on Friday.

“The man arrested in relation to the Christchurch terror attacks will face 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in the High Court in Christchurch on Friday,” they said in a statement.

Police said further charges were being considered against Tarrant -- a self-avowed white supremacist -- but did not specify what they were.

Also read: Jacinda Ardern’s response after Christchurch terror attack has been exemplary

They could relate to whether the court deems attack a terrorist act.

The 28-year-old will appear via video link in the Christchurch court from a maximum-security prison in Auckland.

A note from the court this week said the appearance was likely to be brief and would “ascertain the defendant’s position regarding legal representation” and other procedural matters.

Tarrant sacked a court-appointed lawyer after his first court appearance on March 16, raising fears he wanted to represent himself and attempt to use any trial as a propaganda platform.

The court said Tarrant would not be required to enter a plea during Friday’s hearing.

The court has now barred media from filming or photographing the accused.

ht epaper

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