Alleged Christchurch Terrorist Charged With 50 Counts Of Murder

Brenton Tarrant has been charged in relation to the Christchurch mosque massacre. Source AAPMore

Brenton Tarrant has been charged in relation to the Christchurch mosque massacre. Source AAPMore

The man accused of murdering 50 people in the New Zealand mosque attacks has appeared via video link in the Christchurch high court, in his second formal court appearance since the shootings.

Brenton Tarrant appeared in court via video link from prison on Friday.

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

The suspect listened intently during the short court hearing.

Tarrant has fired his lawyer and will represent himself in court. The judge also suppressed the names of people he was alleged to have attempted to murder.

While families in the court cried quietly as Tarrant appeared on screen, handcuffed with his hands in front of him, he appeared relaxed, looking around the room at times.

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

New Zealand lawmakers on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly in favor of new gun restrictions during the first stage of a bill, the Associated Press reported.

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Judge Cameron Mander said in a note that the brief hearing will mainly be about the accused gunman's legal representation.

The accused was remanded in custody to reappear in court on June 14.

Tarrant would be represented by two Auckland lawyers, one of them, Shane Tait, said in a statement on his website, which did not include any comments on the case.

Presiding Justice Cameron Mander has declined 12 applications from domestic and global media outlets to film or audio record inside the courtroom on Friday, citing the need to ensure due process, judicial integrity and a fair trial. He said reporters could remain throughout and take notes, although would be restricted in what they could report.

Tarrant did not address the court. The pixelation obscured his face. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said improvised explosive devices were also found at the scene.

Media had the right to be present and report on the hearing - other than any discussions held in chambers, as is usual court procedure - but the judge had declined applications from New Zealand and overseas media to film, take photos and record sound. They said that despite some restrictions, he was being managed in accordance with New Zealand and worldwide laws regarding the treatment of prisoners.

He has not been given access to news on television, radio or print media, and neither he is allowed to have visitors.

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