CHRISTCHURCH: The white supremacist terrorist who launched a gun attack in mosques in New Zealand appeared in a local court early Saturday morning on murder charges.
The right-wing extremist, identified as 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was to be remanded in custody after his appearance at the Christchurch District Court, with no bail requested. He was charged with murder in a court appearance that police had said would be held behind closed doors for security reasons.
Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. He is scheduled to appear in the South Island city’s High Court on April 5 and, according to police, was likely to face further charges.
Tarrant had published a racist manifesto on Twitter before going on to live-stream his rampage, which left at least 49 people, including women and a four-year-old child, dead.
The Christchurch shooter’s two targets were the Al Noor Mosque, where 41 people were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died.
The remaining victims, including a Pakistani man who tried to stop the terrorist, succumbed to their wounds in local hospitals.
The Pakistani man who passed away was identified as Rashid from Abbottabad, sources informed Geo News, and was injured during the rampage in a bid to overpower the attacker. His son, Talha Naeem, was also among those who died in the horrific mass shooting.
On the other hand, the survivors included all 17 members of Bangladesh’s cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been postponed, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.
The terrorist, who was believed to be a personal fitness instructor, had documented his radicalisation and two years of preparations in a lengthy, meandering and conspiracy filled far-right “manifesto”.
He had also live-streamed footage of himself going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to escape in the main Christchurch mosque.