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New Zealand massacre suspect appears in court

A woman lays flowers to pay tribute at Linwood Ave public vigil, close to the Linwood Mosque shooting area, for victims who lost their lives during twin terror attacks in New Zealand mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 17, 2019. [Peter Adones - Anadolu Agency]
A woman lays flowers to pay tribute at Linwood Ave public vigil, close to the Linwood Mosque shooting area, for victims who lost their lives during twin terror attacks in New Zealand mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on 17 March 2019 [Peter Adones/Anadolu Agency]

The man accused of carrying out last month’s terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques appeared Friday for a hearing at the Christchurch High Court.

The suspect, Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, appeared via video link from Auckland’s Paremoremo Prison, New Zealand’s only maximum-security prison.

Tarrant, 28, was charged with 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.

Justice Cameron Mander ordered that Tarrant undergo two mental health assessments to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.

Mander said the tests are a normal step and there is no other reason behind them.

He will be remanded in custody until the next hearing on June 14.

At least 50 Muslim worshippers were massacred and as many injured in an alleged white supremacist terror attack by a man on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15.

READ: New Zealand massacres bring back memory of Ibrahimi Mosque attack 

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