Alleged mosque shooter faces one murder charge

A 28-year-old man from Dunedin was remanded in custody without plea on a murder charge – one of 49 deaths from the shooting at two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers.

Brenton Harrison Tarrant, an Australian-born man who has been living at Andersons Bay, Dunedin, did not apply for any suppression of name during the hearing before Judge Paul Kellar in the Christchurch District Court.

He appeared manacled, and in a police-issue gown, and did not speak at all during the sitting. He looked around at a courtroom which was closed to the public but packed with media.

Duty lawyer Richard Peters told the court that there would be no bail application for Tarrant and he was not seeking suppression of name.

However, police prosecutor Steve Burdis asked the judge for suppression of the name of the alleged murder victim in the one charge that has been laid so far.

Judge Kellar granted that as an interim order, and remanded Tarrant in custody for an appearance in the High Court at Christchurch on April 5.

He granted permission to film and photograph in court but imposed an order that the face must be pixellated in any published or broadcasting images.

He said he was suppressing the one victim’s name because publication would place undue hardship on the victim’s family at present.

A large crowd of media gathered at the court house from before 9am. They were let in, in small groups, and Judge Kellar said he was otherwise closing the court to members of the public “for reasons of public safety”.

More charges are expected to be laid ahead of Tarrant’s next appearance.