New Zealand

Australian Christchurch mosque terrorist launches legal challenge against jail conditions

A police officer stands guard in front of the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, March 17, 2019 Source: AP

The hearing is not an appeal to his life sentence, which he is serving without the possibility of parole.

The Australian Christchurch mosques terrorist is launching a legal challenge in the New Zealand High Court.

Brenton Tarrant, who was last year sentenced to life imprisonment for 51 murders, will represent himself in a hearing in Auckland on Thursday.

The hearing is not an appeal to that sentence, and will not have bearing on the Australian's jail term, which he is serving without the possibility of parole.

Rather, the 30-year-old is asking the court to consider his prison conditions, and, possibly, his designation as a "terrorist entity" by the New Zealand government.

Tarrant is being housed at an Auckland jail, with strict conditions surrounding his imprisonment, and few lines of communication to the outside world.

Last month, the NZ Herald reported a "prison within a prison" known as the Prisoners of Extreme Risk Unit, was housing the Grafton-raised terrorist.

The unit is also housing two other prisoners, and cost $A2.6 million in the nine months to 31 October.

On Thursday, Tarrant will represent himself at a judicial review, which looks at whether decisions have been made appropriately within the law.

Justice Geoffrey Venning is scheduled to hear Tarrant's case, which will be held over an audio link, with Tarrant not physically attending the court.

The hearing will not be open to the public, though media will be permitted to attend.

Given the sensitivities involved with New Zealand's worst modern-day mass shooting, victims of Tarrant's attack were notified prior to the court hearing being listed.

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