The mass shooter who killed 51 people in two Christchurch mosques in March 2019, has asked the Hight Court to review decisions made by the Department of Corrections about his prison conditions, and also possibly his status as a “terrorist entity”.
Brenton Tarrant is the only person in New Zealand to be designated a terrorist.
He's serving life without parole in Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.
The court will hold a preliminary hearing tomorrow morning to clarify the issues the terrorist wishes to raise.
The hearing will be held in chambers which means media can attend, but not report.
Justice Venning will issue a minute after the hearing which will explain the next steps. This can be reported.
The court has been careful to point out the event will have no bearing on the outcome of the criminal case, or the sentence imposed, or on the offender's terrorism conviction.
Victims' families have been advised of tomorrow's hearing.
Widow Shadia Amin, who lost her husband Ahmed Abdel-Ghany in the attack, said the news had come as a shock. Today is the first day of Ramadan, a sacred month for Muslims.
She had no further comment, saying “we need to hear what he wants and then we can comment”.
Temel Atacocugu, a survivor who was shot nine times in Al Noor mosque, also gave his thoughts on the issue.
“He got his punishment and what he deserves. I hope the judge refuses him and it is never changing."
In a statement, the The Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ) says "it is not surprised by the
recent developments regarding the terrorist seeking a judicial review".
"The terrorist is following the same pattern as previous convicted terrorists in Europe and Canada," said Ibrar Sheikh, President of FIANZ.
"What is particularly useful to note about the demeanor of this terrorist is that it is no coincidence that he has raised this review to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan for Muslims, which is no doubt placing much more added mental stress on the victims," he said.