New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (file photo)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (file photo)

'We need to prevent the notoriety', says New Zealand PM

ANI | Updated: Mar 19, 2019 07:26 IST

Wellington [New Zealand], Mar 19 (ANI): New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday expressed concerns about the Australian-born terrorist Brenton Tarrant's plans to represent himself in future court hearings. 
“I agree that is absolutely something that we need to acknowledge and do what we can to prevent the notoriety that this individual seeks. This could involve a conversation with the media," New Zealand Herald quoted Ardern as saying to reporters here.
Asserting that the suspect was planning to "lift his own profile", the New Zealand premier remarked: "That’s something that we can absolutely deny him. You won't hear me speak his name."
Ardern reiterated that the country's gun laws will undergo changes as the Cabinet ministers had in-principle agreed to the reforms. She said that legislation would be drafted before March 25.
Tarrant, the 28-year-old terrorist accused of gunning down 50 people during the March 15 twin terror attacks at Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch on Monday dismissed his lawyer Richard Peters and announced that he would represent himself in future court hearings, raising fears that he could attempt to use the trial to express his extremist views.
Tarrant, who is a resident of Dunedin, live-streamed his gruesome act on Facebook for 17 minutes and police believe that the accused had single-handedly carried out the terror attack at both the mosques under a span of 36 minutes during the Friday prayers for which a large number of worshippers had congregated.
Peters, who represented Tarrant in the hearing at the Christchurch District Court a day after the attacks, confirmed the news and said that the accused "appeared to be lucid" and was not "mentally unstable".
The attorney said that the accused was insisting that he wanted to represent himself in the court and his job had come to an end after that day's hearing.
Tarrant, who appeared before the court on murder charges, was remanded in custody without plea until April 5. (ANI)