Authorities in New Zealand apologized on Thursday for allowing Brenton Tarrant, the alleged perpetrator of the mosque killings in Christchurch, to send a hate letter from his prison to a sympathizer who posted it on the internet. .
"I would like to apologize for the pain it caused to those affected by the tragic events of March 15," said Christine Stevenson, director of the penitentiary department.
Ms. Stevenson stated that Brenton Tarrant's courier service had been suspended while the screening process would be reviewed.
"Respecting our legal obligations and mitigating all the potential risks posed by the detainee is a good compromise," she said. "However, we are absolutely determined to ensure that he has no opportunity to cause any harm or pain, whether directly or indirectly."
For Premier Jacinda Ardern, "the prison department has recognized the dysfunction ... This individual must not be able to share his hate message from his cell," she said from the small archipelago of Tuvalu, in the Pacific, where she is for a regional summit.
Brenton Tarrant is incarcerated in a high-security prison in Auckland awaiting trial, for executing 51 people in two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, the worst mass slaughter of modern times in New Zealand.
The penitentiary department revealed that he had allowed the detainee to send mail. One of the letters of the self-proclaimed white supremacist, addressed to a Russian named Alan, was published on the 4Chan website.
Written in childlike capitals, the six-page letter talks about a trip Brenton Tarrant made to Russia, his admiration for the British fascist Oswald Mosley and his belief that "there is a great conflict on the horizon" .
Prison Services Minister Kelvin Davis said that before being banned from mail, Brenton Tarrant had tried to send nine letters from his cell: two to his mother and seven to "associates", two of which were blocked by the authorities.
Brenton Tarrant has been charged with 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism. His trial is scheduled to begin in May 2020.
His case is scheduled for Thursday at the High Court in Christchurch for a brief hearing on procedural issues.
© 2019 AFP