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Morrison ‘open to discussions’ about imprisoning Christchurch terrorist in Australia

Morrison ‘open to discussions’ about imprisoning Christchurch terrorist in Australia

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has said he is "open to having discussions” about the Christchurch mosque gunman serving out his punishment in Australia.

Morrison ‘open to discussions’ about imprisoning Christchurch terrorist in Australia

Speaking to Seven Network, the prime minister said he would talk about the issue with New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern.

“Whether he is held in Australia or New Zealand, we are open to that discussion,’’ Morrison said.

“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.”

It comes after the terrorist who murdered 51 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch was sentenced on Thursday to life imprisonment without parole.

It’s the first time a convicted person has ever been imprisoned with no possibility in parole in New Zealand.

His imprisonment will come at enormous cost to the taxpayer, with the extra levels of security needed meaning keeping him behind bars currently costs more than $4930 a day.

Speaking to 2GB radio, Morrison said he had held discussions about the Australian-born terrorist with Ardern on Thursday afternoon but noted there are many New Zealanders in prison in Australia.

“As you know we send them back when they have served out their sentence,” Morrison said.

“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.”

Speaking after the sentence was handed down on Thursday, Prime Minister Ardern said it wasn’t the right time to be discussing where the gunman should serve his punishment.

“I do feel like today probably isn’t the day for too much discussion around that,” she said.

“I feel like today deserves to be the day for those families to hear that sentence be handed down and just to have a bit of time with that.

“The one thing I should say, though, is that there isn’t currently a legal basis for it so it would be a very complex undertaking.

“I think the thing though – more than even just the legal basis for it – that I would be most interested in is the views of the families. 

“I think they’ve rightly prioritised this process – the sentencing – and so that’s not a question I’ve asked them yet, but their view will be a big driver for me as to whether or not that’s something we consider.”

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