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New Zealand: Anger As Accused Christchurch Mosque Shooter Pleads Not Guilty
By Staff, Agencies
The man accused of the massacre that killed 51 Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch mosque attacks in March smiled Friday as his lawyers entered not guilty pleas to multiple murder and terrorism charges.
Appearing in Christchurch High Court via audio-visual link from a maximum-security prison in Auckland, Brenton Tarrant -- a self-proclaimed white supremacist -- sat silently as his lawyer informed the court that his client pleaded "not guilty to all charges."
The plea prompted anger from survivors and relatives of those killed in the March 15 attacks.
Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national, was committed to stand trial next year on 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and engaging in a terrorist act.
Tarrant allegedly opened fire in the packed Al Noor mosque during Friday prayers, then travelled across town to continue the carnage in the suburban Linwood mosque, while livestreaming his actions on social media.
The court heard that mental health assessments had found Tarrant was fit to stand trial.
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