Christchurch mosque shooting trial delayed for Ramadan
A trial for the man charged with killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques has been pushed back four weeks to June 2.
Stuff understands the High Court at Christchurch has delayed the trial at the request of the Crown, which made the application on behalf of the victims' families.
The trial was to have started on May 4, 2020, but will now start on June 2 – after the holy month of Ramadan.
The accused is charged with 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder, and one count of engaging in a terrorist act.
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The 28-year-old Australian is being held in isolation in a high-security wing at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo. He is being closely watched, according to the Department of Corrections.
Mustafa Boztas, who was shot inside the Masjid Al Noor, was pleased to hear the trial would now happen after Ramadan.
"It's good they changed the date because the month of Ramadan is for healing."
He was unhappy it would take so long for a trial to get under way though.
Victims earlier said the trial would have been "very, very hard" to sit through if it happened during Ramadan – a month of fasting from food and drink during daylight hours.
The High Court earlier admitted it was not aware of the coincidence and was open to reviewing the trial date "if necessary".
The Crown believes the trial could take six weeks, while the accused's lawyer, Shane Tait, said earlier it could be "considerably longer".
Ramadan is predicted to run from about April 23 to May 23 next year.