A one-off extension to the Victim Assistance Scheme will financially support more victims of the Christchurch Mosque Attacks to travel to attend sentencing.
The extension enables all victims who were present in the mosques at the time of the attacks to be eligible to receive contributions towards travel related costs, rather than this eligibility being restricted to those who suffered gunshot injuries, and the families of the deceased.
“This one-off exception recognises the unprecedented nature of the attacks and the trauma on all victims who were present. Sentencing is an important part of our justice process,” says the Ministry of Justice’s Chief Operating Officer, Carl Crafar.
Victim Support, which administers the Victim Assistance Scheme on behalf of the Ministry, has welcomed the move.
“This extension will help victims of the Al Noor and Linwood Mosque attacks to engage with the criminal justice system, supporting their healing and safety,” says Victim Support Chief Executive Kevin Tso.
“Victim Support will continue to work closely with victims, and their support people, to enable them to attend sentencing,” he said.
The sentencing is scheduled to take place in the Christchurch High Court from Monday 24 August.