Scott Morrison announced that he is “open to debate” as to whether the Australian-born jihadist who killed 51 worshippers in a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand will serve his punishment in Australia.
Brenton Tarrant, who arrived in New Zealand in 2017, was sentenced yesterday to life imprisonment without parole for the worst gun massacre in the country.
“Whether he is held in Australia or New Zealand, we are open to that discussion,’’ the Prime Minister revealed on Sunrise.
“It has a lot of implications, these sorts of decisions. The Prime Minister of New Zealand and I will talk about those issues.
“Most of all we are concerned about what the views of the families would be for those affected and we want to do the right thing by them. There is been no request made for that I should stress.”
Whatever the result, the Prime Minister said he decided with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to “locked up forever” and never see the daylight again.
Speaking on 2 GB radio, Mr Morrison announced on Thursday that he had had his first talks with Ms Ardern concerning the convicted killer.
“We have many New Zealanders in prisoners here,’’ he said. “As you know we send them back when they have served out their sentence.
“This is a very rare case. The Prime Minister and I are open to having discussions about this. But there’s been no request made.
“But we would both want to know particularly what the families thought of this.”
The costs of holding the murderer behind bars until his death are likely to run into the millions, which already cost more than NZ$4,930 a day due to the extra security measures.
Yesterday, the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters, requested that Australia take back the mass killer so that the families of its victims are not forced to pay the “astronomical” cost of his imprisonment.
“Now is the time for Australia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, to receive and carry out the terrorist’s sentence in Australia,” Mr Peters said.
“The Islamic community and all of New Zealand has already suffered enough without having to pay astronomical prison costs to keep him safe in our prison system.”