The Christchurch mosque shooting accused, Brenton Tarrant, who was excused from appearing at this morning’s short case review hearing, is applying to have the venue of the High Court trial moved from Christchurch.
The alleged killer has pleaded not guilty to 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and one charge under the Terrorism Suppression Act.
There was a high security presence with armed police at the High Court in Christchurch today. Victims and families of those who lost their lives filled the public gallery. A large media presence saw reporters security vetted before being given access to the court.
Justice Cameron Mander confirmed with Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh that the Crown is in discussions with court officials about delaying the trial by three to four weeks at the most. The current date is set down for May 3.
The Muslim community has previously expressed concerns about the existing date coinciding with Ramadan.
The 28-year-old Australian, who is being represented by defence lawyers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson, has been remanded for a pre-trial callover at 10am on October 3 in the High Court when submissions on a change of venue for the trial will be heard.