The 28-year-old terror accused in a Christchurch court on March 16 .
The 28-year-old terror accused in a Christchurch court on March 16 .

NZ: 50 murder charges laid down against Christchurch terror-accused

ANI | Updated: Apr 04, 2019 12:54 IST

Christchurch [New Zealand], Apr 4 (ANI): The New Zealand Police on Thursday laid down 50 charges of murder and 39 attempted murder charges against the suspected mastermind behind last month's twin Christchurch mosque terror attacks.
He will face the new charges when he appears in front of the Christchurch High Court here on April 5, according to New Zealand police.
"Christchurch terror attacks - further charges laid. Police can now confirm the man arrested in relation to the Christchurch terror attacks will face 50 Murder and 39 Attempted Murder charges when he appears in the High Court in Christchurch on Friday, April 5," the police tweeted on Thursday.
The police have stated that other charges against the accused, identified as a 28-year-old white man from Australia, are "still under consideration". The suspected perpetrator was arrested immediately after the twin terror attacks that claimed the lives of 50 people and left scores wounded.
On March 15, Tarrant stormed two mosques during the Friday congregational prayers and indiscriminately opened fire on the assembled, as per the police. The act of terrorism left the entire Muslim community shaken, with the international community and locals showing their solidarity with the affected.
Five out of the 50 victims of the devastating terror attack have been identified as Indians.
Following the incident, New Zealand has tightened gun laws while the country's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has been hailed for her prompt actions and support following the terror acts.
She has since initiated an independent judicial probe into the twin attacks, asking the police and intelligence officials to implement a royal commission - the most powerful judicial probe available under New Zealand law.
"You were quick to mention this is not the New Zealand that you know. I want to reaffirm that today. This is not New Zealand," Ardern said, condemning the attack on March 16.
Tarrant, who is in judicial custody, sacked his lawyer following the March 16 hearing, wanting to represent himself during all future proceedings. He was remanded in custody without plea until April 5 during his last court appearance.
According to local media, he is poised to appear in court via video link from the maximum security prison in Auckland, where he is lodged, on Friday. (ANI)