Terrorist Tarrant to appear briefly in court today

The person accused of the Christchurch mosque massacres, Brenton Tarrant, will appear briefly in a Christchurch court today via video link from prison (video links are common these days, especially on procedural matters).

Initially Tarrant was charged with just one count of murder. He will now be charged with 50 murders and 39 attempted murders.

NZ Police:  Christchurch terror attacks — further charges laid

National News

Police can now confirm the man arrested in relation to the Christchurch terror attacks will face 50 Murder and 39 Attempted Murder charges when he appears in the High Court in Christchurch on Friday 5 April.

Other charges are still under consideration.

As the case is before the court, Police is not in a position to comment further.

It is standard practice for the Police not to comment on cases that are ‘before the court’.

RNZ: Christchurch mosque attacks: Accused to face 50 murder charges, police confirm

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

The accused had earlier told his duty solicitor he did not want further legal representation.

The media will have a right to remain in court for the hearing, but 12 in-court media applications to film, photograph and record sound at the hearing were declined by the judge.

While the media want fodder for stories I think there is little to be gained by recording or filming this proceeding. It is very early in the prosecution process. Showing more face fuzzed images of Tarrant are not necessary for justice to be seen to be done.

Auckland University law professor Bill Hodge said that on a practical level that number of charges just would not work.

“Each one of these is painstaking, each one involves medical experts, cause of death, witnesses and so on. I think the police are trying to avoid any hiccup or any mistake.

“If they just laid one charge and they got it wrong … I think they’ve got them all in reserve.”

It doesn’t take a law professor to assume that the Police will want to get things done as thoroughly as possible.

Time will tell how the Police take this case to trial. They have to make sure they prove things sufficiently for a legal ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ verdict.

Time will also tell how Tarrant deals with his defence. He may have planned some sort of publicity exercise, but by the time this gets to trial he may have different ideas. He will have plenty of time to ponder the predicament he has put himself in.

(The correct term at this stage is ‘alleged’ killer but that seems a bit farcical with what is known).

In his murky online world associations Tarrant did not factor in the Kiwi spirit, the superb job the Prime Minister did, and the way most New Zealand Muslims have reacted to the horrendous act against them.

Hopefully he is dismayed and disillusioned that his grand plan to divide and incite has backfired big time.

8 Comments

  1. Stuff: Auckland lawyers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson to represent Christchurch terror suspect

    The man accused of the Christchurch terror attack has appointed two Auckland based defence lawyers to act on his behalf.

    The appointment of the lawyers means the man will not self-represent, as he had previously indicated.

    Barristers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson agreed to act for the man, who Stuff has chosen not to name.

    In a statement released to Stuff on Thursday, Tait confirmed the pair had taken on the case and said everyone had the right to fair representation in a criminal proceeding.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-shooting/111811812/auckland-lawyers-shane-tait-and-jonathan-hudson-to-represent-christchurch-terror-suspect

    • Gezza

       /  5th April 2019

      This got a mention on a tv news item last night, on a channel I have chosen not to name, which also featured the Kiwi mum of a female kiwi victim of Anders Brevik, the Norwegian Mass murderer, visiting the island, where he walked around hunting & shooting his victims, for 65 minutes. She pointed out, from above, the rocky beach where her daughter’s body was found.

      It also featured exerpts from an interview with a Norwegian mum of one of the other victims, where she spoke about Brevik’s trial (shot video-only clips shown) where he was given licence during his defence to justify his cold-blooded muders (69?) based on his 150 page manifesto.

      The voiceover said this was a situation very much like New Zealand’s. It was their wake up moment re the White Supremacist / Muslim invasion ideology, & the end of their innocence. (They have still not tightened up their gun laws, though, I think they said.)

      What was interesting though, was that this mum said there was a huge national debate over whether people should know what was in his manifesto, & whether he should be allowed to publicly articulate & defend it in Court on live tv. In the end, there seemed to general agreement that it was the right thing to do, because it was so wrong in so many places & was able to be publicly picked apart & that clearly demonstrated by the prosecution. He was bad, not mad.

      There was also apparently a similar determination by many people and media never to name him when discussing or reporting the massacre. And this mum, when asked if she thought that was a good idea & agreed with it, said – yes she did, & she never spoke his name, at the time – but she now thinks it wasn’t really. Everybody knew and still knows his name, & it made no difference at all to what happened during & following the trial.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  5th April 2019

        There’s an article in the Listener about the Norway massacre.

        I think that the idea that filming the trial for all to see will ensure that justice is seen to be done is specious. Ghouls would be watching it with their eyes on stalks, but who else would ?

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  5th April 2019

          The Kiwi girl’s mother is in the Listener.

  2. Corky

     /  5th April 2019

    ”Barristers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson agreed to act for the man, who Stuff has chosen not to name.”

    Let’s hope Stuffs idiocy doesn’t extend to some liberal nut who may attack these lawyers because they are siding with Tarrant. Even people like Tarrant are entitled to legal representations under our judicial system.

    Maybe these lawyers should take out full page adverts in our national papers to explain this fact.

    As for Tarrant, I wonder how his mental state is? He will be fretting over his dwindling muscle mass. To keep the muscle mass he’s built up requires lots of protein and supplements.
    If he had been using steroids his angst and mental state may be compounded.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  5th April 2019

      You don’t know that, so it’s pointless speculating. Who cares what his muscles do ? There is far more at stake than meaninglessly speculating about what minerals and supplements someone may have used when nobody will ever know – or care.

  3. Duker

     /  5th April 2019

    Bill Hodges is not correct saying the ‘number of charges wouldnt work’. The reality is they have to charge for each murder and attempted murder and cant pick and choose. Its not appropriate to have 1 representative charge for each mosque, that would be outrageous. The complexity is reduced by all murders being at just two locations, so the experts can testify for a large number of those killed , more or less at once. As well the intent part covers murders at both locations from his prep so wouldnt need dozens of witnesses for each charge but those intent witnesses would cover all those murdered and attempted to murder.
    The concentrated nature of the deaths means its not like a serial killer who works on a small number of victims over a long period of time at multiple locations with often different weapons.
    I can see the trial moved outside Christchurch and maybe run by the Chief High Court judge so that court errors dont give an avenue for appeal and heaven forbid a retrial on procedural grounds

  4. Corky

     /  5th April 2019

    ”Hopefully he is dismayed and disillusioned that his grand plan to divide and incite has backfired big time.”

    I won’t be agreeing with that just yet, Pete. There are many unhappy people in Aotearoa at the moment for a variety of reasons; all related to the Christchurch shootings.

    Let’s waited for the consequences of Tarrants actions. That will be the true test of our nationhood and our ability to forgive.