15 Aug 2019

Where will accused mosque shooter's trial be held?

From Checkpoint, 5:46 pm on 15 August 2019

The accused mosque shooter's terror trial is still due to take place next year but exactly where and when is still up in the air.

Brenton Tarrant has pleaded not guilty to murdering 51 Muslim worshippers, trying to murder 40 others and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

He didn't appear at the High Court in Christchurch on Thursday for a case review - instead his legal team and the prosecution discussed procedural matters with Justice Cameron Mander.

They set dates for hearings to discuss a possible change of venue for the trial and the prospect of moving it forward three to four weeks so it does not coincide with the holy month of Ramadan.

None of what was said in court can be reported but families and victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks were allowed in to view proceedings, along with media.

Only a handful of family took up the opportunity with about 180 currently in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.

Outside court, Hazim al-Umari who lost his 35-year-old son in the March 15 shootings, told RNZ's Conan Young he struggled to see why there needed to be a hearing to discuss the possibility of moving the trial outside of Christchurch.