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Christchurch terror victims' body identification process lengthy as police must 'prove cause of death' - Mike Bush

More time may be needed to formally identify victims of the Christchurch terror attacks as the police investigation continues. 

Funerals for some of the 50 people killed in Friday's mass shootings are only just starting today when Muslim custom calls for a quick burial.

Speaking to media today Police Commissioner Mike Bush said, "the other responsibility of the police is the prosecution of this person, and part of the process I'm talking about is delivering to the Coroner an evidential standard for identification".

"We must prove for prosecution the cause of death to the satisfaction of the Coroner, to the judge. You cannot convict for murder without that cause of death."

Twenty-one of the 50 victims of Friday's attack were able to be returned to their loved ones following formal identification at 11.30pm last night, Mr Bush said.

A further six bodies are expected to be identified by midday today.

Over 120 people across different national and international government agencies are involved in the formal identification process.

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Mike Bush briefed media over the identification process as families wait to be reunited with their loved ones. Source: 1 NEWS