Australian arrested over New Zealand shooting massacre to face 50 murder charges

Suspect in Christchurch mosque attack to face 50 murder counts, police say

The man accused of carrying out the Christchurch mosque attacks will face 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges when he makes his second court appearance, New Zealand police said Thursday.

An Australian white supremacist accused of massacres at two mosques in New Zealand will face 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges.

Police had earlier filed a single, representative murder charge against 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant.

Brenton Tarrant, charged with murder, making a sign to the camera during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court in New Zealand March 16, 2019.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately condemned the shootings as an act of terrorism, and said today is "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

A largely motionless Tarrant - on mute - appeared on a large screen in the courtroom on Friday, a small cell showing in the background.

The court case comes a day after Tarrant appointed two Auckland-based defense lawyers, an about-face from mid-March when he dismissed his duty lawyer stating he would represent himself.

The judge stressed that the move was "normal procedure" and an "entirely ordinary and regular step" to be taken at this stage of the judicial process.

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The judge says the brief hearing will mainly be about Tarrant's legal representation.

He's now being held at New Zealand's only maximum security prison in Paremoremo, Auckland.

The judge explained that from his end, Tarrant could see the judge and lawyers but not those in the public gallery.

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

Thousands of visitors to the reopened Al Noor mosque, where 42 people were killed, have offered condolences and sought to learn more about Islam, said Israfil Hossain, who recites the daily call to prayer there.

Mr Nabi said he would be coming back as well.

Justice Mander granted the order - which was not opposed by the accused's new defence lawyers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson - on the grounds of undue hardship.

Tofazzal Alam, a survivor of the Linwood Mosque shootings, speaks to the media outside the High Court in Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday.

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