Thursday, June 20, 2024

NZ asks Australia to ‘step up’ on terrorist prisoner cost

New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister, Winston Peters has appeared on Australian breakfast television today, telling Australia to “step up” in relation to the cost of incarceration for the terrorist responsible for the March 15 mosque attacks in Christchurch.

His appearance on Today followed a live interview with Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton who said Australia had not received any formal request for assistance from New Zealand.

“We will work very closely with NZ. We have a very special relationship with them. I think the first priority is to make sure that this individual serves the longest possible sentence that’s been imposed in NZ,” said Mr Dutton

“We’d have to look at what happens in terms of parole or the way in which our legal system would work here.”

Mr Dutton said he was seeking legal advice on the matter.

“So, first priority is to keep him in jail for the rest of his life and we’d work very closely with NZ on any request that they provide,” he said.

Mr Peters was asked when New Zealand would be making a request for a prisoner transfer or other assistance.

“It’s for my ministerial colleagues and other political parties to give their view,” said Mr Peters.

“But it seems to me that given this unprecedented circumstance, and with regard to the cost, to looking after the victims in our country who survived and their families and the $50 million plus downstream, in real terms, of providing safety for this terrorist, then the sound reasonable logical thing to do would be to ask Australia to step up.”

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