Accused Christchurch massacre gunman pleads ‘not guilty’

The Australian man accused of shooting dead 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques in March has pleaded not guilty to his 92 charges.

Brenton Tarrant appeared in the High Court of Christchurch via video link from prison on Friday morning.

The 28-year-old reportedly smiled as his lawyer entered the pleas, denying 51 charges of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one terrorism offence over the March 15 attacks in Christchurch.


A trial has been scheduled to begin on May 4, with prosecutors estimating it may run six weeks.

There are reports Tarrant will represent himself, leading to concerns the trial could be used to espouse far-right extremist views.

As a result, New Zealand’s major media organisations have agreed to self-imposed restrictions on reporting.

Dozens of relatives of victims and survivors of the massacre that rocked New Zealand packed the courtroom.

Some shed tears as the pleas were entered.