The main suspect in the Christchurch attacks in March, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Brenton Tarrant is charged with the murder of 51 people, 40 counts of attempted murder and one terrorism charge in New Zealand’s deadliest peace time mass shooting.
Appearing via video link from prison, the 29-year-old Australian sat silently as his lawyer read out his plea.
The 15 March attack saw a gunman open fire on Muslims during Friday prayers.
This is the first time a terrorism charge has been brought in New Zealand.
A number of the survivors of the attack and relatives of the victims were in court for the hearing
As lawyer Shane Tait read out his client’s not guilty pleas, a number of those present gasped and became tearful.
High Court Justice Cameron Mander said the trial had been set for 4 May next year, and that Mr Tarrant would be remanded in custody until a case review hearing on 16 August.
At his last court appearance in April, he was ordered to undergo mental health assessments to determine whether he was fit to stand trial.
Judge Mander said in a statement on Friday: “No issue arises regarding the defendant’s fitness to plead, to instruct counsel, and to stand his trial. A fitness hearing is not required.”
Cindy will be pissed at the Judge. Last week, a restriction on publishing photos of the suspect’s face was lifted.