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Christchurch gunman might not be charged under Terrorism Suppression Act

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 18 March 2019, 11:33AM
The man is in custody facing one charge at this stage, and due to appear at the High Court at Christchurch next month.

A criminal lawyer says it may be simpler to charge the man accused of the Christchurch terror attacks under the Crimes Act, not the Terrorism Suppression Act. 

The man is in custody facing one charge of murder at this stage, and due to appear at the High Court at Christchurch next month.

It's possible he could be charged under the Terrorism Suppression Act, which was introduced in 2002 after 9/11.

But criminal lawyer Steve Cullen told Mike Hosking charging under the Crimes Act is clearer.

"Murder carries life imprisonment and when you have very severe cases like this you can target imprisonment without parole."

He said charged someone under the Terrorism Suppression Act carries more risk.

"Under the Terrorism Suppression Act, the difficulty is, one, you have to get the Attorney General's permission and, two, you have to prove that what was done was done to the purpose of advancing an ideological or political or religious cause and with a specific intention of inducing terror."

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