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Mosque gunman 'not suffering any mental disability', will represent himself: Ex-lawyer

Mosque gunman 'not suffering any mental disability', will represent himself: Ex-lawyer

Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is lead into the dock for his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand, Mar 16, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/New Zealand Herald/Mark Mitchell) (This photo was received as pixelated from source.)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand: The Australian charged with murder in the mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques appears aware of the situation and plans to represent himself, his court-appointed lawyer told AFP Monday (Mar 18).

Brenton Tarrant was charged with one count of murder and appeared at Christchurch District Court on Saturday after the rampage during Friday prayers which left 50 people dead.

READ: Christchurch shootings: Suspect bought guns, ammunition online

READ: Christchurch in shock: A city tries to come to terms with brutal terrorist attack

Duty lawyer Richard Peters represented the 28-year-old during a preliminary court hearing, but was dropped after Tarrant "indicated he does not want a lawyer".

"He wants to be self-represented in this case," said Peters, who played down suggestions that Tarrant may not be fit for trial.

"The way he presented was rational and someone who was not suffering any mental disability. That's how he appeared. He seemed to understand what was going on," Peters said.

READ: 'We are the luckiest ones': Survivors of Christchurch killings

READ: Australian police search homes linked to New Zealand mosque gunman

Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to toughen gun laws in the country. She said that firearms including two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action weapon were bought legally and used in the attacks.

Source: AGENCIES/nc

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