A hero of the Christchurch terrorist attack confronted a white supremacist before a trial for the Australian man, who is accused of shooting 51 people in March.
Abdul Aziz, who saved lives by running against the alleged shooter at the Linwood Islamic Center on March 15, sat before the Christchurch Supreme Court on Friday to hold Brenton Tarrant's hearing.
In the courtroom, Tarrant pleaded not guilty to 51 murder charges, 40 attempted murders and one terrorism charge.
However, before taking up his position in the public gallery, Mr. Aziz, who used an Eftpos machine to defend the mosque on March 15, confronted a supporter of a white supremacist group who stood in front of the courthouse.
The 33-year-old hooded man played Nazi music from a portable speaker and made racist comments, Radio New Zealand reported.
Abdul Aziz (right), a hero of the Christchurch terrorist attack, confronted a white supremacist before a trial for the Australian man accused of shooting 51 people in March
Mr. Aziz (right), who saved lives by running on suspected Sagittarius Brenton Tarrant at the Linwood Islamic Center on March 15, confronted the man
After faced by Mr. Aziz, the police entered and removed the white Supremacist from the area.
After hearing the man who supported the white Supremacists' speech, Mr. Aziz confronted the hooded man.
Moments later, the police entered and led the man away. He was arrested and later charged with disorderly behavior.
The court, full of family members and survivors of the victims, listened carefully when Tarrant pleaded not guilty to a total of 92 charges.
Tarrant appeared in court by video link from the maximum security prison where he has been held since March.
Survivors gasped and wept when Tarrant, originally from Grafton, New South Wales, received his request.
& # 39; He is a coward … He laughed. Just put me in a cell with him for 15 minutes and we'll see if he can still laugh, ”said Mr. Aziz outside the court.
"It was very difficult for us to just look at him."
At some point, Mr. Aziz even played the role of peacemaker when tensions threatened to boil over
The survivors gasped and cried when the Tarrant (pictured), originally from Grafton, New South Wales, used a video connection from a high-security prison in Auckland to file all 92 charges
28-year-old Brenton Tarrant pleaded not guilty to 92 terrorism, murder and attempted murder charges. He is pictured in court on March 16 – a day after the alleged shootout
Aziz Abdul (pictured) defended the Linwood Mosque with an Eftpos machine during the live streams. He said it was "very difficult" to look at Tarrant
Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times during the attack, said he trusted New Zealand's legal system.
& # 39; We are strong. He is the loser and we are the winners. He'll lose, ”he said to reporters.
Dozens of relatives of victims and survivors grabbed the courtroom, some visibly nervous during the hearing, others in tears when the pleas were filed.
Two other courtrooms and around 200 seats were reserved for the public, and the police were well represented throughout the building.
The court also found Friday that Tarrant was mentally able to stand trial after previously requesting routine reports.
The terrorist charges brought against him last month will be the first of its kind in New Zealand, and some legal experts say it could potentially lead to a complex trial.
However, the Muslim community in Christchurch has welcomed the prosecutor's decision to treat the shootings as an act of terrorism.
The police were heavily represented at Christchurch District Court on Friday. A policeman (pictured) guards a rose to show respect at a funeral on March 21st
Mourners (pictured) mourned in the days following the March 15 attack. Both mosques are now covered with tributes for victims and families
Tarrant is held in New Zealand's only high security prison in Auckland, and prison officials say he has no access to television, radio, newspapers, or visitors.
A lone archer armed with semi-automatic weapons aimed at Muslims who attended Friday prayers in two Christchurch mosques on March 15.
The attack killed 51 worshipers and wounded dozens and was broadcast live on Facebook.
Tarrant's case will return to court on August 16 and he will be on May 4, 2020.
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