Christchurch terrorist charged with murder, no bail requested

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CHRISTCHURCH: The white supremacist terrorist who launched a gun attack in mosques in New Zealand appeared in a local court early Saturday morning on murder charges.

The right-wing extremist, identified as 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, was to be remanded in custody after his appearance at the Christchurch District Court, with no bail requested. He was charged with murder in a court appearance that police had said would be held behind closed doors for security reasons.

Handcuffed and wearing a white prison suit, Tarrant did not speak. He is scheduled to appear in the South Island city’s High Court on April 5 and, according to police, was likely to face further charges.

Tarrant had published a racist manifesto on Twitter before going on to live-stream his rampage, which left at least 49 people, including women and a four-year-old child, dead.

The Christchurch shooter’s two targets were the Al Noor Mosque, where 41 people were killed, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died.

The remaining victims, including a Pakistani man who tried to stop the terrorist, succumbed to their wounds in local hospitals.

The Pakistani man who passed away was identified as Rashid from Abbottabad, sources informed a local news channel, and was injured during the rampage in a bid to overpower the attacker. His son, Talha Naeem, was also among those who died in the horrific mass shooting.

On the other hand, the survivors included all 17 members of Bangladesh’s cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been postponed, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.

The terrorist, who was believed to be a personal fitness instructor, had documented his radicalisation and two years of preparations in a lengthy, meandering and conspiracy filled far-right “manifesto”.

He had also live-streamed footage of himself going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to escape in the main Christchurch mosque.

‘Outrageous … beyond imagination’

Outside the court, guarded by heavily armed police in body armour, the sons of 71-year-old Afghan man Daoud Nabi demanded justice.

After travelling the world “he stopped in New Zealand and said ‘here’s a slice of paradise’,” Omar Nabi told AFP. “It’s outrageous, the feeling is outrageous. It’s beyond imagination.”

The unnamed Palestinian man who managed to survive the shooting said: “I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again,” said the man, who did not wish to be named.

“Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood,” he told AFP.

‘Bodies all over’

One witness told news website Stuff he was praying when he heard shooting — and then saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

Another man said he saw children being shot. “There were bodies all over,” he said.

This article or news story originally appeared on AFP