Mosque of Christchurch firing suspect back to court today



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A suspected gunman at the Christchurch mosque may have the chance to speak in court when he appears today to face 50 murders and 39 attempted homicides.

The 28-year-old Australian is due to appear at the Christchurch High Court at 9.15. He will appear by audio-visual link from Auckland, where he is being held in isolation in a high security wing of the Auckland Prison in Paremoremo.

It will be his second hearing since he allegedly massacred 50 people in the mosques of Linwood and Al Noor on March 15, and killed many others.

An accused marksman will face 50 counts of murder and 39 homicide attempts in court.

Carl Court / Getty Images

An accused marksman will face 50 counts of murder and 39 homicide attempts in court.

Much of the hearing will take place "in chambers", which means that members of the public are unlikely to be allowed to enter.

Your face will also not be revealed. Chief Justice Judge Cameron Mander has ruled that images of the man's face should remain pixellated "until another court order".

Images of his face should remain pixelated for now, says a judge.

GETTY IMAGES

Images of his face should remain pixelated for now, says a judge.

In one minute released before the hearing, Justice Mander said the purpose of the hearing was whether the defendant wanted a lawyer, or whether he would represent himself – something he had flagged earlier.

However, on Thursday night, Barristers Shane Tait and Jonathan Hudson said they agreed to act for the man. Auckland's defense lawyers have said that everyone has the right to fair representation in a criminal case.

The judge said the defendant will not be required to appeal today.

GEORGE HEARD / STUFF

Reporter Blair Ensor gives an update of the police cordon outside the mosque on Deans Ave, Christchurch.

Attorney Richard Peters, who was the lawyer responsible for the suspect's first appearance, said earlier that if the man spoke at the hearing, the court would need to balance his right to a fair trial and be heard with what was relevant to the case.

No one could stop the suspect from responding directly to the charges he faces, "but if anyone wanted to talk about irrelevant issues, the court could say:" Let's not hear it, move on, "Peters said.

Thing He understands that the court has the ability to mute an audio-visual link if it is deemed necessary.

Police said other charges were still being considered. Police are expected to modify an indictment by naming a woman as a murder victim when she is, in fact, alive.

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