Terrorist attacks in Christchurch: deadline set for coroner submissions

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A flowery tribute to the victims of Christchurch. Photo / NZME

A deadline has now been set for submissions to the Chief Coroner over the Christchurch terrorist attacks as she draws closer to the decision whether or not to hold an inquest.

The families of those murdered in the March 15, 2019 massacre were told today that they have until August 18 to make representations to Chief Coroner Justice Deborah Marshall regarding a possible inquest process.

In January, Coroner Marshall said she had not yet decided whether an inquest would be held.

She said that the family of each victim would receive a set of information relating to the event and the cause and circumstances of the death.

Police are trying to keep people away from outside Al Noor Mosque following the shooting.  Photo / NZME
Police are trying to keep people away from outside Al Noor Mosque following the shooting. Photo / NZME

Families could then apply to him to ask for more details than they wanted or to outline issues that fell within coronary jurisdiction and that they felt had not been resolved through the prosecution process or the report of the coroner. the royal commission of inquiry.

Each family received a 53-page snapshot of police evidence as well as individual information about their lost loved ones.

The police document details what the police investigation showed regarding the shooter’s movements on March 15, 2019, and evidence confirming the times, location and response of the police and ambulance service.

Today, Coroner Marshall said she is about to make a decision on whether or not to hold an inquest.

“As I continue to listen and respond to families affected by this tragedy, the next step in this information-sharing process is to identify the unanswered questions and make the decision to open an investigation,” a- she declared.

“I ask Shaheed families, gunshot wound victims and other interested parties to contact me about any issues or concerns they believe have not been resolved by the prosecution process or the report. of the Royal Commission of Inquiry by Wednesday, August 18, 2021. “

“The preference for submissions is a brief outline of one or two paragraphs, in order to give as many people as possible the opportunity to submit on time.

Police arrest the gunman after an <a class=attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. Photo / Supplied ” class=”article-media__image responsively-lazy” data-test-ui=”article-media__image”/>
Police arrest the gunman after an attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019. Photo / Supplied

“These observations will help me make my decision about whether to conduct a coronary artery inquest and / or inquest.”

Coroner Marshall said families could pass information to him through their lawyers or by contacting the Chief Coroner’s office directly.

Fifty-one people died and 40 were injured in the 2019 terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

Brenton Tarrant pleaded guilty to murder, attempted murder and terrorism and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a four-day hearing in Christchurch High Court in August.

In December, a report of a royal commission into the terrorist attacks was released, making 44 recommendations on a number of topics and focusing on the possibility of preventing the massacre.

Earlier this year, Coroner Marshall explained the purpose of providing the information kit to deceased families.

“The purpose of providing these key events and times is to identify any outstanding issues that interested parties may have that are within the jurisdiction of the coroner,” she said.

“The problems identified will inform the coroner’s decision to hold an inquest into the deaths of those killed in the terrorist attacks.

Footage of police chasing and capturing the terrorist is also included in the report.  Photo / provided
Footage of police chasing and capturing the terrorist is also included in the report. Photo / provided

The preview reveals intricate details of the shooter’s journey from his home in Dunedin to Christchurch – including photographs of his vehicle from cameras across the South Island.

Police were able to determine exactly which route he took and where he stopped – including a gas station in Oamaru where he bought coffee and food – before arriving at the First Mosque.

In addition to the preview offered, families can also request additional information, including:

• Summary of known circumstances relating to each victim.

• CCTV image of the victim entering the mosque, if available.

• Overview map showing the approximate location of the victim.

• Verification of death.

• Coroner’s certificate and documentation on the release of the body.

• Post mortem report.

• Identification report of disaster victims.


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