Christchurch terror suspect appears in court - RTHK
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Christchurch terror suspect appears in court

2019-03-16 HKT 09:35
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  • Police stand guard outside the court. Photo: AP
    Police stand guard outside the court. Photo: AP
A right-wing extremist who filmed himself on a rampage that left 49 mosque-goers dead flashed a white power sign as he appeared in a New Zealand court on Saturday charged with murder.

Australian-born 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant stood in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison smock, as the judge read a single murder charge against him. A raft of further charges were expected.

The former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist occasionally turned to look at media present in court during the brief hearing that the public were excluded from for security reasons.

Flanked by armed police he flashed an upside-down "okay" signal, a symbol used by white power groups across the globe. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance which is scheduled for April 5.

A short distance away, 39 people were being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds and other injuries inflicted in the massacre. They included a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, who is in critical condition.

Doctors at Christchurch hospital said they worked through the night in 12 operating theatres to do what they could to save the survivors. (AFP)