World

New Zealand PM announces royal commission inquiry into mosque shootings

Wellington

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday a royal commission, a powerful form of public inquiry, into the events leading up to a March 15 attack on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 50 people.

“It is important that no stone is left unturned to get to the bottom of how this act of terrorism occurred and what, if any, opportunities we had to stop it,” Ardern told reporters at Parliament House in the capital, Wellington.

A suspected white supremacist has been charged with one count of murder over the Christchurch shootings and will next appear in court on April 5. Ardern has said the man had not been on any watch lists in New Zealand or Australia.

She said a major focus of the inquiry would be whether security agencies focused their attention on the right issues and whether there were any clues that were missed.

It would also include the role of social media and the suspect’s ability to obtain a weapon, Ardern said.