Brenton Tarrant, who killed 51 worshipers in two Christchurch mosques pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple murder and terrorism charges.
Appearing in Christchurch High Court via audio-visual link from a maximum-security prison in Auckland, Brenton Tarrant sat silently as lawyer Shane Tait said his client pleaded “not guilty to all charges”.
The self-proclaimed white supremacist has been charged with 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and engaging in a terrorist act over the March 15 atrocity in he South island city.
The court heard that mental health assessments had found Tarrant was fit to stand trial for the worst massacre in modern New Zealand history.
About 80 survivors and relatives of those killed packed into the courthouse’s public gallery.
Wearing a grey crewneck jersey, Tarrant smirked at times during the hearing. Judge Cameron Mander set a trial date of May 4 next year, with Tait saying it was expected to last six weeks.