New Zealand attack suspect fires lawyer

Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man allegedly responsible for mosque attacks on Monday fired his state-appointed lawyer, Richard Peters.

Mr Tarrant is also believed to be behind livestreaming a massacre of Muslims as they prayed in New Zealand mosques. The man was previously not known to security agencies in Australia or New Zealand.

Mr Peters says the defendant has indicated he “wants to be self-represented in this case”.

The lawyer added: “The way he presented was rational and someone who was not suffering any mental disability. He seemed to understand what was going on.”

Australian police raided two homes near Sydney on Monday as part of the inquiry.

Australian media reported that one of the homes belongs to Brenton Tarrant’s sister. The family is co-operating with the authorities.

An uncle of Brenton Tarrant said: “We are so sorry for the families over there, for the dead and injured.”

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New Zealand police confirmed on Monday they believed there was only one attacker, but added that this did not rule out others might have provided support.

Many public vigils were held across the country over the weekend and more are planned for this week.

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