- Brenton Tarrant, the alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch shooting, on Friday saw victims of the attack for the first time since it took place, via a video link to court.
- 50 friends, family, and survivors of the attack on two mosques on March 15 attended court, some still in wheelchairs and wearing hospital gowns.
- Court reporters noted Tarrant was “emotionless” during the 30 minute stream, while families “cried quietly” in the gallery.
- Tarrant, charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 of attempted murder, is currently in high security confinement at a prison in Auckland.
- Tarrant will appear in court again on June 14, after two routine mental health assessments, Judge Cameron Mander told the court.
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The alleged Christchurch shooter has appeared in court via video link Friday, seeing survivors of the attack, some of whom sat in wheelchairs and hospital gowns, for the first time since it took place in early March.
The case at Christchurch High Court on Friday operated under tight security, with broadcasters banned from relaying any images, but court reporters were on hand to describe the scene in detail.
A live feed of the Brenton Tarrant, charged with murdering 50 people at two mosques on March 15, was broadcast to the court while Judge Cameron Mander addressed him, court reporters wrote.
Tarrant appeared on screen for 30 minutes, with his hands cuffed in front of him, standing outside a small prison cell in the high security wing of Auckland Prison, Paremoremo, reporters said.
Amassed in the court were around 50 people, some of whom were still in wheelchairs or wearing hospital robes, indicating they were victims of the attack. The majority of those in attendance were family and friends of the 50 victims.
A CNN court reporter noted the “space was filled with relatives of those killed in the attack, who “cried quietly” as Tarrant was addressed by Mander.
“Some inside the court appeared to be injured victims, still in hospital gowns in wheelchairs.”
A court reporter from stuff.nz noted said Tarrant was “handcuffed, unshaven and wearing a dark grey jersey” and throughout the stream nonchalantly looked around many times. He was “emotionless,” the reporter added.
Tarrant’s only acknowledgment of the court was when he nodded when the judge told him he would be remanded in custody, stuff.nz noted.
The reporter wrote that one person in the viewer’s gallery was in a wheelchair and one was wearing a hospital gown.
50 people were killed, and dozens more were injured last month after a shooter opened fire at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch.
In between Friday’s court session and June 14, the next time he is expected in court, Tarrant will undergo two routine mental health assessments, the judge told the court.
Tarrant made his first appearance in court on March 16.
Helal Uddin, whose friend Mojammel Hoq died in the attack, told stuff.nz Tarrant “looks really arrogant – not look like what a human being would be.”
Tarrant has also been charged with the attempted murder of 39 other people in relation to the March 15 attack.
New Zealand lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of new gun laws in the wake of the shooting.
The new laws ban the sale of military-style semi-automatic weapons, the same type of weapon used by the gunman, and are expected to be in place by April 11.
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