New Zealand terrorism report 'suppressed' for 30 years

Evidence given by ministers and public sector chief executives in the Christchurch terror attack probe will not be released for the next 30 years, authorities in New Zealand have declared.

An interview of the Australian-born terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who has been jailed for life, “will never be released out of concern it could inspire and assist further attacks,” daily New Zealand Herald reported on Saturday.

Tarrant killed 51 people and injured 40 more in attacks on the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15 last year.

He was sentenced to life in prison this year in August without the possibility of parole, in the first such ruling ever handed down in the country.

Jan Tinetti, New Zealand’s internal affairs minister, received the inquiry report on Thursday and it will be publicly released on Dec. 8, after first being shared with victims' families and political party leaders, the newspaper reported.

“Evidence given by ministers and public sector bosses to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch terrorist attack will be suppressed for 30 years,” the daily said.

The report includes “any failings by police, spies, and other government agencies in the leadup and aftermath to the mosque shootings.”

Commissioners Sir William Young and Jacqui Caine cited “national security” as the reason for the non-publication order.

They said full publication of the evidence could provide a “how-to manual for future terrorists,” adding that those concerns would likely have “dissipated” in 30 years.

According to New Zealand’s government, the Royal Commission of Inquiry was tasked to “look into what state sector agencies knew about the individual’s activities before the terrorist attack, what, if anything, they did with that information, what measures agencies could have taken to prevent the terrorist attack, and what measures agencies should take to prevent such terrorist attacks in the future.”

The commission was scheduled to present its report by Nov. 26 “so the government can reassure the New Zealand public, including its Muslim communities, that all appropriate measures are being taken to keep people safe.”/aa