Brenton Tarrant began ranting and shouting into the microphone Picture: AP
Brenton Tarrant began ranting and shouting into the microphone Picture: AP

Christchurch shooter loses it in court

New Zealand's alleged mosque terrorist, Brenton Tarrant, has withdrawn his application to move his trial from Christchurch where the massacre happened.

The High Court convened today - with Tarrant appearing via video link from jail - only to receive instructions the application would not be pursued, and therefore dismissing it.

The Australian is due to stand trial on June 2 next year, having pleaded not guilty to 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one charge of terrorism.

Family and friends of the victims packed the courtroom.

They were told to expect a development in the case in the minutes before it began, heard by Justice Cameron Mander.

Tarrant's lawyer Shane Tait told the court that his client confirmed that he did not seek to pursue the change before this morning's hearing, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Tarrant appeared by videolink, and tried to catch the attention of the court.

Mustafa Boztas, a survivor of the shootings at Al Noor mosque (left), arrives for the case review hearing in Christchurch. Picture: Getty Images
Mustafa Boztas, a survivor of the shootings at Al Noor mosque (left), arrives for the case review hearing in Christchurch. Picture: Getty Images

On the break-up of proceedings, he began ranting and shouting into the microphone, but as it was set on mute, his efforts weren't heard.

Outside the court, Tait declined to answer questions on why his client decided to withdraw the application.

Tarrant is next due in court on December 12 for a procedural hearing.

Defence lawyers Shane Tait, left, and Jonathan Hudson arrive at Christchurch High Court. Picture: Getty Images
Defence lawyers Shane Tait, left, and Jonathan Hudson arrive at Christchurch High Court. Picture: Getty Images

The case is the first charge of terrorism brought before a New Zealand court. Justice Mander previously cleared Tarrant of the need for a fitness hearing to stand trial.

The mass shooting has led to major gun law reform in New Zealand, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also pursuing an international agreement between countries and major tech companies to eradicate extremist content on the internet.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to tighten NZ’s gun laws following the massacre. Picture: Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was quick to tighten NZ’s gun laws following the massacre. Picture: Getty Images

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