Accused Aussie killer smiles in court in Christchurch, charged with murder

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At 11.10am local time, Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared dressed in a heavy cream coloured prison smock, his hands cuffed to a leather belt encircling the prison smock.

Police stand guard outside the district court building in Christchurch. Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker

Police stand guard outside the district court building in Christchurch. Picture: AP Photo/Mark BakerSource:AP

He was brought in by prison officers into a heavily secured courtroom under guard by police and court officers and packed with local and international media.

Mr Tarrant kept turning his face towards the media pack, smiling faintly.

He appeared on one charge of murder for which court documents say carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

He had allegedly been held in police cells under the court overnight after being arrested on Friday afternoon.

Nine reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams said Tarrant was “eerily calm” and almost seemed proud of what he’d done”.

“He just looked like a calm, collected person,” she told the Today show. “It was almost nonchalant as he looked around the court.”

A second man Daniel John Burrough, 18, of Christchurch has been charged with intent to excite hostility or ill will against any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race or ethnic or national origins, published written matter which is insulting.

LIVE COVERAGE: New Zealand remains on high alert

Brenton Tarrant is due to appear in court today. Picture: Shooter's Video via AP

Brenton Tarrant is due to appear in court today. Picture: Shooter's Video via APSource:AP

The alleged slaughter of worshippers at Friday prayers at the Al Noor mosque on Dean’s Avenue and the Linwood mosque, a 15 minutes drive apart in central Christchurch, has left 49 dead and dozens injured.

The shooting, allegedly filmed and lifestreamed by the alleged gunman, killed 41 people at Al Noor, seven at Linwood and another person died afterwards in hospital.

Members of the media wait outside the district court building in Christchurch. Picture: AP

Members of the media wait outside the district court building in Christchurch. Picture: APSource:AP

Mr Tarrant, a former personal trainer from the NSW regional city of Grafton, is believed to have been living in New Zealand’s South Island for the last three years.

There was no application for bail and Mr Tarrant was remanded un custody until April 5.

Two brothers whose father, 71-year-old Haji Daoud Nabi, died in the shootings were denied entry to the court hearing.

- More to come