World

Families wait for justice over NZ shooting

By AAP Newswire

The families of 51 people killed at two New Zealand mosques will have to wait a year for the Australian accused shooter to stand trial.

Brenton Tarrant's lawyer entered not guilty pleas to 51 counts of murder, 40 of attempted murder and one terror offence over the March 15 shootings, on Friday.

Justice Cameron Mander has scheduled the 28-year-old's trial for May 2020 and indicated it could run for at least six weeks.

Tarrant will become the first person in New Zealand to face trial on a terrorism charge

Survivors and families of the deceased will have to put their faith in New Zealand's legal system for justice.

"We are strong. He is the loser and we are the winners. He will lose," Temel Atacocugu, who was shot nine times during the attack, told reporters.

The court found Tarrant mentally fit to stand trial.

New Zealand's major media organisations have agreed to self-imposed restrictions on reporting, wary that Tarrant's trial could be used to espouse far-right extremist views.

The case will return to court in August.