The Australian man accused of shooting 51 worshippers dead at two Christchurch mosques in March has denied perpetrating the terrorist attack and has pleaded not guilty to the 92 charges laid against him.
The NZ Herald reports Brenton Tarrant, 28, entered his plea at a packed Christchurch courtroom this morning via videolink from Auckland’s Paremoremo Prison.
Audible gasps emerged from the Christchurch courtroom as the accused gunman laid out his plea, the paper reports.
His not guilty plea comes despite a livestream of the violence which allegedly showed the gunman attacking the Al Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre.
Prosecutors today laid another murder charge, two attempted murder charges, and a charge under New Zealand’s Terrorism Suppression Act. All total, Tarrant stands accused of 51 murders, 40 attempted murders, and the terrorism charge.
Tarrant’s plea before the High Court means the case will go to trial on May 4, 2020.