Victims And Family In Tears As Christchurch Shooter Fronts Court
Dozens of survivors of the Christchurch massacre and those who lost loved ones have filled a courtroom as the accused gunman faced a High Court Judge for the first time.
Some were in hospital gown, and some shed tears as the procedural hearing began.
Yama Nabi, who’s father Haji Daoud Nabi was killed at the Al Noor mosque said he felt compelled to attend to see how the case would progress, “I wanted to see his face,” he said outside court. His brother Omar Nabi said he wants the killer to live and suffer the consequences of his actions.
Brenton Harrison Tarrant faced the Christchurch court via video link from prison. He was wearing a green prison jumper and was handcuffed.
During the brief hearing he was allowed to remain seated. He tilted his head, appearing to listen closely to proceedings.
Before the hearing began a court registrar let the public gallery know the accused man wouldn’t be able to see victims on his monitor, only the Judge and the bar table.
The Crown formally filed the new charges, 50 of murder and 39 of attempted murder. Three of the survivors who form part of the charges are under the age of 18.
Despite previously telling a duty lawyer of the District Court he didn’t wish to be legally represented, today counsel appeared for the accused man.
They’re seeking a mental health assessment, to help the court determine whether the Australian is sane and fit to stand trial.
Justice Cameron Mander emphasised to the media such an assessment was an ordinary step at this stage of the court process.
He instructed the court to schedule a fitness hearing incase it is needed.
The accused shooter wasn’t required to speak.
He was remanded in custody to return to court on June 14.