Australian self-confessed white supremacist, Brenton Tarrant (28) will appear in court on Friday to face 50 murder charges as well as 39 counts of attempted murder for the Christchurch mosque shootings, in New Zealand, that occurred last month.
Tarrant was initially charged with one murder charge when he appeared in the Christchurch District Court a day after the shootings.
But police later admitted that the person who had been listed as deceased was still alive.
These additional charges laid by New Zealand officials could mean that, if found guilty, Tarrant could be the first person in a New Zealand court to be sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
The Australian, who will be representing himself, will appear in court via video from a prison in Auckland and will be given an opportunity to enter a plea.
However, the hearing will be used to set dates for his future court appearances, including a possible trial date.
New Zealand’s Chief Censor has banned Tarrant’s manifesto and his live streaming of the attack on Facebook.
Three weeks after the attack, New Zealand has changed gun laws, banning all semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, including those used in the attacks.
New Zealand government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden are settling on terms of reference for an independent inquiry to be held into the attacks by scrutinising New Zealand’s security agencies, police as well as social media networks.
Some individuals in the Muslim community said they had been the focus of New Zealand’s security services while white nationalist and supremacists such as Tarrant, were excluded from the scrutiny.
The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand’s spokesperson, Anjum Rahman raised fears to government agencies and politicians about the harassment, discrimination and online abuse of Muslims for years before the Mosque attacks.
There are also calls for New Zealand to begin recording hate crimes by the government.