Published: 28 June 2020
The Royal Commission into the Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019 is moving into the final phases of producing its report. Its object is to provide authoritative answers to the public about the attack.
In March this year, the individual charged over the attack pleaded guilty to, and was convicted of, 51 charges of murder, 40 charges of attempted murder and a charge of engaging in a terrorist act. As a result, there will be no trial. The Royal Commission understands that Justice Mander is expected to set a date for sentencing in July.
The Terms of Reference set by the Government direct the Royal Commission to investigate the individual’s activities in the lead up to the 15 March 2019 attacks.
“We can confirm that we have interviewed the individual as part of our inquiry. While the Royal Commission had undertaken extensive investigations with the benefit of material provided by the New Zealand Police and other agencies, there were some areas of uncertainty. In addition, the Terms of Reference and the Inquiries Act 2013 require the Royal Commission to observe the principles of natural justice in respect of any person who may be the subject of adverse comment in the Royal Commission’s report. That includes the individual,” says Chair of the Royal Commission the Hon Justice Sir William Young.
“This was a carefully considered decision driven by the need to observe natural justice and the ultimate goal of providing answers to the New Zealand public through an authoritative final report. We have given a commitment to the public that we would leave no stone unturned and interviewing the individual is another way we have sought to fulfil that commitment,” says Commissioner Jacqui Caine.
As with all interviews undertaken by the Royal Commission, the interview with the individual was conducted in private. It took place at Auckland Prison, Paremoremo.
The individual, and his lawyers, as is the case with others who have been interviewed by the Royal Commission, have been made the subject of confidentiality orders under the Inquiries Act 2013 and are not at liberty to discuss the content of the interview.
No further comment will be made by the Royal Commission.