Christchurch Attacker Faces 50 Murder Charges

A woman reacts at a make shift memorial outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

New Zealand police said Thursday that Tarrant will face 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges in his second court appearance.

A High Court judge said in court minutes this week that the appearance would largely be procedural and that Tarrant would not be required to enter a plea to the charges he faced.

Tarrant, who was charged with one murder a day after the shooting attack, was also charged with 39 attempted murders on Friday.

Mr Tarrant made no comment during the short hearing.

He's now being held at New Zealand's only maximum security prison in Paremoremo, Auckland. Peters said Tarrant told him that he wants to represent himself.

Following the attack, New Zealanders came together to offer support and solidarity to the victims and the wider Muslim community.

During the half-hour hearing Justice Cameron Mander ordered Tarrant to undergo two assessments to determine whether he may be mentally impaired, legally insane or fit to stand trial.

Suspect in Christchurch mosque attack to face 50 murder counts, police say
Gunman in Christchurch shootings charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder

The judge explained that from his end, Tarrant could see the judge and lawyers but not those in the public gallery. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. Analysts have said that the country's legislation regarding terrorism have proved to be complex, making charges of terrorism against the gunman a possible source of additional complications for the prosecutor in his case, with little possible difference in the outcome should he be convicted.

"He is a terrorist, he is a criminal, he is an extremist, but he will, when I speak, be nameless, and to others I implore you: Speak the names of those who were lost rather than the name of the man who took them", Ardern said following the attacks.

Tarrant live streamed the massacre on Facebook via body cam.

The judge said he had received applications from 25 media organizations to take film, photographs or audio recordings of Friday's hearing but had denied all of them.

On that occasion a lone gunman killed 35 people using a semi-automatic AR-15, which is the same weapon used in the horrific Christchurch shootings.

The government is aiming to pass gun reform legislation by April 11.

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