FILE PHOTO: Brenton Tarrant, charged for murder in relation to the mosque attacks, is seen in the dock during his appearance in the Christchurch District Court, New Zealand March 16, 2019. Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – The Australian man accused of killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in New Zealand in March last year entered a surprise guilty plea in court in Christchurch on Thursday, and admitted to all charges, media reports said.
Brenton Tarrant, who appeared by video link, entered his plea guilty pleas at a special, hastily arranged High Court hearing in Christchurch on Thursday morning, state broadcaster TVNZ reported.
He also pleaded guilty to 40 charges of attempted murder and a terrorism charge, TVNZ said.
In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, the lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, in New Zealand’s worst peace time mass shooting.
Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Sandra Maler