CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) - The Australian man accused of killing 50 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand faced an additional 49 murder charges in court on Friday and was ordered to undergo a mental assessment to determine his fitness for trial over the attacks.
In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15.
Brenton Tarrant, 28, was charged with one murder the day after the attack and remanded without a plea. In Christchurch’s High Court, where he appeared by video link, 39 extra attempted murder charges were also filed along with the new murder charges.
Justice Cameron Mander remanded Tarrant in custody until June 14 and ordered he undergo a mental assessment to determine whether he was fit for trial.
Reporting by Praveen Menon in Christchurch; Editing by Peter Cooney