New Zealand Law Society - Filming and recording mosque killings appearance prohibited

Filming and recording mosque killings appearance prohibited

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Applications by 12 New Zealand and foreign media organisations to film, take photographs, or make audio recordings at the appearance of the man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks have been declined, the NZ Herald website states.

The person accused of killing and wounding people during the attacks on 15 March will appear in the High Court on Friday, 5 April. He first appeared in the District Court on 16 March. The New Zealand Police have announced that he will face 50 murder and 39 attempted murder charges when he appears in the High Court.

The NZ Herald website says Justice Cameron Mander declined the applications.

"In a minute issued to the media this week, he said factors in making his decision to refuse the requests were to perserve the integrity of the trial process and ensure a fair trial. 

"Journalists will, however, be permitted to remain in the courtroom and take notes, while newspapers and broadcasters are still able to use images of the accused which were taken at the District Court hearing.

"But those images will remain pixelated after an order by Judge Paul Kellar for the defendant's face to be blurred in any published images. The order will remain in force until further ruling by a judge."

The accused is being held in Paremoremo prison, Auckland. Justice Mander has ruled that he will appear on court on 5 April by an audio visual link from prison.

"Justice Mander has ruled that because the hearing will be primarily procedural and administrative, much of it will take place with the court sitting in chambers.

"This will mean members of the public will not be allowed into the courtroom during this time. Only the judge, lawyers, defendant, court security, police officer in charge of the case and media are permitted to stay," the NZ Herald website says.