New Zealand mosque attack suspect pleads not guilty

The man suspected of killing 51 people in a mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, entered not guilty pleas to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one terrorism over the March 15 massacre.

The Australian appeared at the Christchurch High Court in relation to the via video-link from the maximum security prison in Auckland where he is being held.

The courtroom was filled with 80 survivors and family members.

Wearing a grey sweatshirt, Tarrant smiled as his lawyer entered the pleas, but otherwise showed little emotion. His link had been muted, and he did not attempt to speak.

Judge Cameron Mander scheduled a six-week trial beginning next May.

Tarrant will remain in custody until his next court appearance in August.

Mander said that two mental-health assessments of Tarrant had been completed, and there were no issues in relation to the accused’s ability to enter pleas and stand trial.

In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, the lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, in New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting.

Two more people died later at the Christchurch Hospital.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed never to say the accused man’s name.

Bay Way Hoodie (Unisex)

Our limited-edition hoodie just dropped. Grab yours now!