The Australian man who carried out the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand will be seen by two health assessors to determine "whether he is fit to stand trial or insane", a High Court judge ruled during a brief hearing in Christchurch. .
The man accused of carrying out last month’s terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques appeared on 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.
TRT World's Natasha Hussain reports.
Tarrant faces 50 murder charges
Earlier police said Tarrant will face a total of 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in court on Friday.
The 28-year-old Australian man, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with one murder the day after the attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15 and was remanded without a plea.
Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded as they attended Friday prayers.
TRT World spoke to Christchurch-based journalist Radhika Naidu for more details.
The gunman broadcasted his attack live on Facebook.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the massacre, the worst mass shooting in New Zealand, as a "terrorist attack" and some legal experts thought it could result in charges under New Zealand's terrorism laws.
A High Court judge said in court minutes this week that the appearance would largely be procedural and that Tarrant would not be required to enter a plea to the charges he faced.
"The principal purpose of the call on April 5 will be to ascertain the defendant’s position regarding legal representation and to receive information from the Crown regarding certain procedural steps and when it is envisaged those steps will be completed," said Judge Cameron Mander.
Police said on Thursday that other charges are still under consideration.