Australian Brenton Tarrant yesterday appeared in a New Zealand court where the suspected white supremacist was charged with an additional 49 counts of murder at two mosques last month.
In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, killing 50 worshippers and wounding dozens of people.
Tarrant was charged with one murder the day after the attack and was remanded without a plea. In Christchurch's High Court, where he appeared by video link yesterday from a prison in Auckland, 39 extra attempted murder charges were filed along with 49 new murder charges.
The High Court judge overseeing the appearance ordered Tarrant to undergo a mental assessment to determine whether he was fit to stand trial. He was not required to submit a plea.
Tarrant, 28, was then remanded to custody until June 14.
High Court Judge Cameron Mander said whether Tarrant would be required to enter a plea at his next appearance depended on his mental health assessment and "any other developments".
Legal experts said two mental health experts would likely assess Tarrant, while police, who have not ruled out further charges, would continue to investigate New Zealand's worst peacetime mass killing.