Accused Christchurch gunman complains about prison conditions: Report

Reports from New Zealand claim the man behind last month's shootings in Christchurch has been denied visitation rights and has no access to newspapers, radios or televisions. Source: Getty/Pixabay (stock image used)

The man accused of killing 50 people in last month’s deadly Christchurch terror attacks has reportedly made a complaint about the lack of entitlements he’s receiving from behind bars.

The 28-year-old Australian man is currently behind bars at Auckland Prison in Paremoremo, where, according to New Zealand news website Stuff, he’s been segregated from other prisoners. According to the report, the man has also been denied visitation rights and has no access to newspapers, radios or televisions.

It is believed the man has made an official complaint to the Department of Corrections, with the report claiming he isn’t entitled to the usual minimum entitlements of most prisoners. Under the New Zealand Corrections Act, those in custody are usually entitled to exercise, bedding, a proper diet, a private visitor each week, a legal adviser, medical treatment, healthcare, mail and phone calls. However, under certain circumstances, these entitlements can be withheld.

“He’s under constant observation and isolation,” a source told the publication. “He doesn’t get the usual minimum entitlements. So no phone calls and no visits.”

It comes just weeks after the alleged killer dismissed his lawyer with plans to represent himself during his trial for the biggest mass murder in modern New Zealand history.

Richard Peters, who represented the man in court last month, confirmed to The New Zealand Herald that he was no longer representing the alleged killer, saying the Australian told him he wanted to represent himself in future.

“What did seem apparent to me is he seemed quite clear and lucid, whereas this may seem like very irrational behaviour,” he told the newspaper. “He didn’t appear to me to be facing any challenges or mental impairment other than holding fairly extreme views.”

He said the decision could be because the alleged killer wanted to turn the trial into a platform for his beliefs.

“I suspect that he won’t shy away from publicity, and that will probably be the way he runs the trial. The job of the trial judge will be to deal with that,” Peters explained.

He had previously been charged with murder after 50 people were killed in a shocking attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15. He is scheduled to appear in the High Court on April 5 where he is expected to enter a plea. Bail was not applied for and formally refused.

The man issued a 73-page manifesto online prior to his attacks last month, in which he took aim at immigration rates in “European lands” and called for revenge on “invaders that seek to enter our lands”.

He described himself as an ordinary white man, born to a working class, low income family, who had a regular childhood “without any great issues”.

The gunman live streamed the shooting to social media, sharing the harrowing footage to Facebook. The footage showed the man driving to the mosque and parking next to the building. He then went to the back of his car where a number of semiautomatic weapons covered in writing could be seen in the boot. He walked towards the front door of the mosque and raised his weapon and fired his first shot at someone in the doorway.

The confronting video showed the man walking calmly through the mosque and shooting anyone he saw. At one point he started shooting repeatedly at people lying motionless on the ground. After circling the rooms again he left the mosque and fired his weapon up and down Dean’s Avenue out the front of the mosque before getting back into his car and leaving the scene.

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