Christchurch mosque terror suspect to undergo “mental health test”

Christchurch mosque killer Tarrant

The man who is accused of massacring 50 worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand last month has been ordered by the court to undergo mental health tests.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, will be checked by experts to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial or insane, said high court judge Cameron Mander on Friday.

The suspect faces 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges.

The Australian-born white supremacist appeared in the courtroom via video link from prison, which was packed with relatives of the victims.

A plea was not required from him.

Judge Mander ordered that two assessments would be carried out to understand the state of the suspect’s mental health.

Tarrant listened closely during the brief court hearing and made no comments.

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He was able to see the judge and lawyers and hear the proceedings – but the cameras were turned away from the public gallery.

The judge remanded him in custody, and his next court appearance is now due on Friday 14 June.

He is currently being detained in solitary confinement at the high security Auckland Prison in Paremoremo.

The double mosque attacks on Friday 15 March was the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand’s history.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the attacks as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

She has vowed to ban all types of semi-automatic firearms.

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