PM Jacinda Ardern seeks advice on deportation options for accused Brenton Tarrant

WELLINGTON, Mar 17, 2019, NZ Herald. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is seeking advice on any possible deportation of the man accused of the mosque shootings. Brenton Tarrant is Australian and had been living in Dunedin until his alleged killing spree at two Christchurch mosques on Friday, reported the New Zealand Herald.

Ardern was asked by reporters yesterday whether Tarrant was likely to be deported to Australia.

“I don’t want to go to far down that track while we’re obviously in early stages. Charges have been laid, we can expect additional charges, he’ll be appearing in the High Court on the 5th of April, so there’s obviously a process that needs to be gone through here.

“But I can say I am seeking advice on what will happen thereafter.”

Asked today whether Ardern was referring to deportation before a sentence was served or after, a spokesman said she was looking at the issue in its entirety and getting advice on all options.

Tarrant did not require a visa to enter New Zealand because as an Australian he was able to enter the country and live here without one.

Immigration New Zealand, which said it could not comment specifically on Tarrant, said Australians were subject to the same deportation liability as any other visitor.

Ardern would not say how long Tarrant had been to New Zealand but said he had visited “sporadically”.

At present Tarrant is charged with one count of murder under the Crimes Act.

Britain’s MI5 is investigating potential links between the alleged Christchurch shooter and domestic extremist groups after the accused gunman made an explicit threat against London mayor Sadiq Khan.

The Sunday Times has reported this morning that MI5 – tasked with the United Kingdom’s counter-intelligence and security – has taken the lead in the investigation.

The particular UK focus was linked by the Sunday Times to the alleged gunman’s so-called manifesto, distributed by email and published online shortly before Friday’s attack began.

The manifesto said specifically named Khan and terror attacks in Britain. The Herald has decided not to publish any of the comments in the manifesto.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder after the Deans Ave mosque and Linwood Ave mosque shootings that killed 50 people. He appeared in the Christchurch District Court yesterday, where he made no plea. He is due to appear again next month.

Tarrant is believed to have travelled to Britain on a two-month tour of Europe which galvinised his extremism, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

The suspected gunman toured the continent and came to Britain to stay for up to a fortnight in 2017.

A senior Government source said it was thought Tarrant, who was not on a ‘watch list’, “transited” through the UK and stayed “for a few weeks”.

Security services around the world were building a detailed picture of Tarrant’s extensive travels to battlegrounds and cities connected to wars between Christians and Muslims dating back hundreds of years, the Telegraph reported.

The Australian used money left him after his father’s death in 2010 and funds raised from investing in online currencies to pay for lengthy trips.

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