Kensington Palace deletes Christchurch victim tweets after potential breach of NZ law exposed

Kensington Palace has deleted two tweets after a legal expert told Newshub that despite the account's "good intentions", it may have broken New Zealand law.

The tweets featured a photo, video and the full name of a five-year-old child injured in the Christchurch shooting. Prominent private investigator Tim McKinnel said that could constitute a breach of our suppression legislation.

The former police officer says by identifying the girl - who is still recovering in hospital - Kensington Palace violated section 204 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011, which grants automatic suppression to all complainants and witnesses under 18.

The tweets were posted while Prince William was in Christchurch last week. The official Kensington Palace Twitter account gave his visit extensive social media coverage.

The account tweeted images of the Duke meeting with Muslim community leaders, first responders and politicians during his visit. It also published the potentially law-breaking photo and video of him talking to a five-year-old injured in the shooting.

Because of suppression laws, Newshub cannot embed screenshots of the now-deleted tweets.

Kensington Palace is the London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as several other royal couples, including Princess Eugenie and her husband. While it's unlikely any of the Royals posted the tweets themselves, McKinnel says the account represents them in an official capacity.

"There's been a lot of media coverage [of the attack] and there seem to be occasional breaches of suppression orders, which are less than ideal," McKinnel told Newshub.

"Even with the best of intentions, the law exists for a reason. The Royal Family should, more than anyone, be complying with the law. Even if it was done out of ignorance, that's not an excuse."

McKinnel, best known for his work clearing Teina Pora's name, said he expected Kensington Palace to remove the tweets once it was made aware of the breach.

Kensington Palace has not responded to Newshub's request for comment.


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