The High Court in Christchurch was packed on Thursday morning where lengthy legal arguments were expected to be heard around why the Brenton Tarrant trial should be moved away from the city.
About 80 mosque attack victims, some using crutches, as well as their supporters, packed the gallery.
The accused's lawyers had both flown down from Auckland and police sporting bushmaster rifles were stationed on both entrances to the court.
Then the news came, with Justice Mander announcing the application to move the trial had been withdrawn, with no explanation given.
Conan Young was in court.