NZ orders top-level inquiry into Christchurch attacks

2019-03-25 at 13:01

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered a top-level inquiry into the Christchurch mosque attacks that left 50 people dead.

She said a royal commission would examine whether police and intelligence services could have done more to prevent the 15 March shootings.

A royal commission is the highest level of independent inquiry available under New Zealand law.

Ardern said it would produce a “comprehensive” report.

She told reporters in Wellington, “It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to how this act of terrorism occurred and how we could have stopped it.”

Ardern said the formal inquiry would also look at questions surrounding the accessibility of semi-automatic weapons and the role social media played in the attacks.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old self-proclaimed white supremacist, has been charged with one murder in connection with the shootings and he is expected to face further charges.

Ardern has ruled out re-introducing the death penalty for the trial.