Australia open to taking gunman back from New Zealand

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s Prime Minister said yesterday he was open to allowing an Australian white supremacist who killed 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques to serve his life sentence in his homeland but the victims’ wishes would be paramount.

A transfer would buck international convention and require changes to the laws in both countries, but proponents of the idea have called for Australia to take responsibility for imprisoning Brenton Harrison Tarrant and take the costs off New Zealanders.

Tarrant, 29, was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison without parole for the March 2019 attacks in Christchurch. He is the first person to be denied the possibility of parole in New Zealand and has enhanced security in prison for his own safety. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said while New Zealand has made no official request the Australian government was open to taking him back.

“I’m pleased that that terrorist will never be released anywhere ever again,” Morrison said. “We’ll have an open discussion and look at the issues around this.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. PHOTO: AP