10 Dec 2019

Accused Christchurch mosque attacker excused from court today

12:29 pm on 10 December 2019

A High Court hearing is taking place for the man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks.

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Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Brenton Tarrant was excused from appearing in person at the court in Christchurch this morning.

He has previously appeared via audio visual link from Auckland prison.

The public gallery was packed with more than 30 members of the Muslim community, including some of the victims' families, and there is a strong police presence outside the court.

The Australian man pleaded not guilty in June to 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one charge of terrorism relating to the 15 March attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

The trial is due to start on 2 June next year.

It was initially set down for May, but was put back at the request of the families, as that date fell in the middle of Islam's holy month Ramadan.