NZ COMPOL urges families of massacre victims to be patient
March 20, 2019 12:57 pm
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush has spoken about the on-going efforts to return the victims’ bodies to their families.
There are now 120 officials working on identification and coroner’s reports.
The Commissioner says they are making progress but they must be thorough.
“As of last night at 11.30pm 21 of those victims had been formally identified and are now being released to their loved ones. By midday, there may be a further we believe six victims identified and available to their families. By the end of today (Wednesday) we should have completed the majority of those identifications.”
Bush says as Police, number one priority is the victims and their families but they have other obligations.
He stressed they need to ensure absolute accuracy in the identification process of the 50 victims.
“We must prove for prosecution the cause of death to the satisfaction or the coroner to the judge. You cannot convict for murder without that cause of death. Of course, we would like to do that as quickly as possible but it must be done as professionally and as accurately as possible. To get it wrong is unforgivable and you cannot come back from that.”
Meanwhile, 29 people remain in Christchurch Hospital, eight are in critical condition in intensive care.
A four-year-old girl is also critical at Auckland’s Starship Hospital.