Saturday, 25 May, 2019

New Zealand Mosque Suspect Appears in Court

Australian Man Appears In Court On Murder Charge After Christchurch Attack Australian Man Appears In Court On Murder Charge After Christchurch Attack
Julia Gonzales | 17 March, 2019, 04:38

They included Asif Shaikh, 44, who said he was among more than 100 people at the Al Noor mosque when the attacker came in.

Mr Bush said it appeared all of the victims were linked to the two mosques. Thirty-six of those remain in Christchurch hospital, where they are being treated with the utmost care and professionalism by medical staff.

The judge said "it was reasonable to assume" more such charges would follow.

Questions have been raised about why Tarrant had not appeared on a watchlist of New Zealand or Australian security agencies.

Australia honoured the victims by lighting up some of the country's most famous landmarks, including the Sydney Opera House which projected the Silver Fern of New Zealand on its sails.

The Christchurch attacker could have killed even more people as he was on the move at the time of his arrest, and had more firearms in his auto, New Zealand's PM said, praising police who responded to the call in just 36 minutes.

In a statement, Fiji's prime minister Frank Bainimarama also expressed his shock at the shooting and sympathy for the victims.

Police say responsibility for the shootings was claimed in a manifesto that espoused hate against Muslims and immigrants. But he said some people frustrated because "they want to get on with their grieving process".

Police said three people were in custody including a man in his late 20s who's been charged with murder.

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None of those arrested had a criminal history or were on watchlists in New Zealand or Australia.

"As of last night, we were able to take all of the victims from both of those scenes and in doing so we have located a victim", he said.

"Many of the people require multiple trips to the theatre to deal with the complex series of injuries they have", said Christchurch Hospital's Chief of Surgery Greg Robertson.

In a manifesto circulating online, Tarrant described himself as "Just a ordinary White man, 28 years old" who used the spoils of cryptocurrency trading to finance extensive travels through Europe from 2016-2018.

The majority of victims were migrants or refugees from countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

She asserted that New Zealand "will not and can not be shaken" by this attack.

During a Saturday press conference, Ardern said the gunman had two semi-automatic weapons, two shotguns, and a lever-action firearm (five firearms in total).

New Zealand citizens as young as 16, provided they pass a background check to get a firearms license, can possess a long gun. "That obviously leads to an Australian-based investigation and all of our inquiries here will be absolutely shared and communicated with New Zealand authorities". Armed police were deployed at several locations in all cities, unusual in a country that has had low levels of gun violence.

Ardern called on the USA government to show "sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", and told the press that "the person who has committed this violent act has no place here".

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