Terror accused will appear for court hearing via audio-visual link

4:36 pm on 2 April 2019

The High Court has confirmed the accused Christchurch gunman will not appear in person at his next court appearance.

The accused in court

The accused in court Photo: NZME

Brenton Tarrant has his first hearing in the High Court on Friday morning after first appearing in the Christchurch District Court on 16 March.

In a minute issued to media organisations, including RNZ, who had applied for in-court media coverage, Justice Mander said the defendant will appear via audio-visual link for what will be a "relatively brief" hearing.

The judge said the accused will not be required to enter a plea to the single charge of murder he faces, or others the Crown is expected to file before Friday.

He said the primary purpose of the hearing was to establish the accused gunman's legal representation, if any, and other administrative matters.

Twelve in-court media applications to film, photograph and record sound at the hearing were declined by the judge.

Some of the factors Justice Mander said he had taken into account when reaching his decision were the need to preserve the integrity of the trial process and ensure a fair trial.

Media still have a right to remain in court for the hearing and report on its content, subject to any suppression orders or in-chambers discussions.