Terrorism charge filed against accused Christchurch mosque shooter

Clay Curtis
May 21, 2019

New Zealand police on Tuesday filed a terrorism charge against the man accused of killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques.

The charge, which came under the country's terrorism suppression legislation, was filed against Brenton Tarrant, police said in a statement.

Just before the attacks, Tarrant emailed New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and others a manifesto outlining his white supremacist beliefs and his detailed plans for the shootings.

As the case is before the courts no further commentary will be made by police, Crown Law or the Christchurch Crown Solicitors office on the charges, Bush said.

Tarrant is next due to appear in court on June 14, after being remanded in custody in April and ordered to undergo psychiatric assessment to determine if he was fit to stand trial.

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Police met with victim's families and survivors of the March 15 attacks to inform them of the new charges which have been laid.

The accused gunman is also facing an additional murder charge and two more attempted murder charges.

He also said police are committed to providing the necessary support for the court process which will be "challenging and emotional" for the victim's families and survivors.

It has also pushed global efforts to ensure social media giants to do more to combat online extremism, including the so-called "Christchurch Call" unveiled by world leaders and top technology firms in Paris last week.

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