Christchurch shooting: Man who lost son responds to Brenton Tarrant's letter

A man who lost his son in the Christchurch mosque attacks says he considers the accused a very serious threat.

On Wednesday, Newshub revealed Brenton Tarrant sent a six-page letter to a man in Russia from Auckland Prison, where he is being held in solitary confinement, facing 51 charges of murder.

The recipient posted a photo of the letter to the 4chan web forum on Tuesday, saying: "A couple of months ago I sent a letter to Brenton Tarrant and today I finally got a response." 

Hazim al-Umari from Iraq, who lost his 35-year-old son Hussein in the attacks, said outside the Christchurch High Court on Thursday that he was very concerned.

Janna Ezat and Hazim al-Umari, left, lost their son Hussein in the attacks.
Janna Ezat and Hazim al-Umari, left, lost their son Hussein in the attacks. Photo credit: The Project

"Something should be done to secure the prison, and to secure the way the trial is happening," he told Newshub.

He said he wants an international court to hear the case.

"[I'm] very very concerned. As I said, it's something very dangerous."

He thought it was important to be at Thursday's hearing, even though Tarrant wasn't because of its brief and administrative nature.

"My wife doesn't like to come because she is emotional, but I have another perspective. I thought I should know what's the mechanism of this court."

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis announced Tarrant's mail privileges have been suspended for the foreseeable future, in light of what he called a process failure and "mistake".

Davis on Thursday morning admitted there wasn't only one letter. Tarrant tried to send nine letters while in solitary confinement, two of which were withheld. He successfully sent two to this mother and five to unknown recipients.

Davis told The AM Show on Thursday he was disappointed, and has received an apology from those responsible.

In the Christchurch High Court on Thursday, Justice Cameron Mander confirmed the Crown is in discussions to push Tarrant's May 4 trial date back by up to four weeks.

It was also confirmed Tarrant's trial could be moved out of Christchurch.


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