New Zealand mosque shooting suspect drops bid to move trial

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Thursday 3rd October 2019 08:02:48 in English News by Xafiiska Hargeysa
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    New Zealand mosque shooting suspect drops bid to move trial

    New Zealand mosque shooting suspect drops bid to move trial

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New Zealand mosque shooting suspect drops bid to move trial




The man accused ofmurdering 51 Muslimworshippers in March'sNew Zealandmosque attacks has dropped a bid to move his trial from the city where the mass shooting took place.

The High Court held a pre-trial hearing in Christchurch on Thursday to consider an application from accused gunmanBrenton Tarrantto move the trial venue to Auckland on the North Island. Christchurch is on the South Island.

But judge Cameron Mander announced at the beginning of proceedings that the defence had decided not to pursue the application, which was originally lodged in August.

No reason was given for the decision.

The 28-year-old Australian has pleaded not guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and engaging in a 'terrorist' to act.

Tarrant, a self-avowedwhite supremacist, appeared at the hearing via audio-visual link from a maximum security jail in Auckland, although media were barred from filming or photographing him.

Many of the 80 or so people packed into the courtroom expressed dismay at Tarrant's behaviour during thebrief hearing as he smirked, winked and tried to shout something with his hand cupped around his mouth.

His trial will begin on June 2 next year.

The unexpected development was welcomed by survivors and relatives of those killed in theMarch 15 attacks, who had worried they would have had to travel to the North Island to appear as witnesses or observe the proceedings.

The Christchurch attack was the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's modern history.

SOURCE:NEWS AGENCIES


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