Australia

Accused Bourke St driver pleads not guilty

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lays flowers at a floral tribute on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth Street. Source: AAP

Accused Bourke St driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas has pleaded not guilty over the rampage that killed six people and injured dozens of others in Melbourne's CBD.

Accused Bourke Street driver Dimitrious Gargasoulas has pleaded not guilty to murdering six people and trying to kill another 28 pedestrians amid concerns his mental state may prevent him from standing trial.

Gargasoulas, 27, on Friday pleaded not guilty via video link at Melbourne Magistrates Court to 39 offences, including six counts of murder and 28 counts of attempted murder, over the Bourke St rampage on January 20.

Gargasoulas also waived his right to a pre-trial committal hearing, so his case will go straight to the Victorian Supreme Court.

Defence lawyer James Yianoulatos said his client's fitness to plead and mental impairment were "live issues".

Gargasoulas said no more than 10 words when magistrate Simon Zebrowski asked him to confirm his identity and whether he understood the charges.

His legal team has previously indicated he has been assessed by a forensic psychiatrist and psychologist while in custody.

If Gargasoulas' mental state is an issue, a hearing will be held in the Victorian Supreme Court before a jury who will decide if he is fit to stand trial.

If Gargasoulas is found to be unfit, he will face a special hearing instead of a criminal trial.

A special hearing determines whether an accused person committed the crime or is not guilty because of mental impairment based on evidence about their state of mind.

Gargasoulas will remain in custody and is expected to face the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday for a directions hearing.

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