Brenton Tarrant, the man accused of killing 51 people during a shooting spree in March, 2019, at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has pleaded not guilty to all charges levelled against him.
A lawyer for the 28-year-old Australian-born suspect, said on Friday his client pleaded not guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 attempted murders and one charge of committing a terrorist act.
This is the first time a terrorism charge has been brought in New Zealand. Tarrant was not in court in person in Christchurch; instead he appeared via a video link from a maximum-security prison where he’s being held in Auckland.
Throughout the half-hour hearing on Friday, Tarrant – wearing a plain grey top – stood looking slightly up at a camera positioned above him. He did not say a word during the hearing.
He nodded once to acknowledge he could hear the judge, and at times smirked.
When his lawyer entered the ‘not guilty’ pleas on his behalf, he grinned and – at one point – winked at the camera.