World

NZ terror offender’s parole approved

By AAP Newswire

A white supremacist jailed for sharing the video of the Christchurch mosque attacks will be released on parole on Wednesday night.

Philip Arps reportedly gave a thumbs up to Justice Stephen O'Driscoll in the Christchurch District Court on Wednesday afternoon after learning of his release under strict parole conditions.

Last June, Arps was sentenced to 21 months prison for sharing footage taken by alleged terrorist Brenton Tarrant which included the slaughter of many Muslims during two Friday prayer services.

Sharing or accessing the video, or the extremist manifesto published by Tarrant, is a crime in New Zealand after it was classified as objectionable by the country's chief censor.

Arps, a Christchurch businessman, admitted sending the video to 30 people and asking a friend to modify the footage to make it resemble a video game.

Arps has a string of criminal convictions, and was fined in 2016 for performing a nazi salute while taking a pigs head to the Al-Noor mosque, one of two centres of last March's atrocities.

He has also called for the death of political leaders, religious groups and homosexuals.

Under New Zealand law, prisoners given short jail sentences can serve the second half of their term back in the community.

Justice O'Driscoll imposed a number of conditions on Arps, including a ban on the 45-year-old owning or accessing any firearms.

Arps must also wear a GPS electronic monitoring system, avoid mosques and not contact any member of the Muslim community.

According to news outlet Stuff, the court also heard that the Correction Departments had concerns over 49 letters sent by Arps while in prison.

Justice O'Driscoll placed a suppression order over the subject of those communications.

Christina Wilson, a Corrections manager, argued for parole conditions to be placed on Arps, where he had displayed concerning behaviour and views.

"My concern is that if he is released without these conditions, he would make contact with the Muslim community and cause them further harm," she said.

"I would consider [his risk of re-offending] has actually escalated. Since he has been in prison he has not utilised this time to move on from the offending, instead focusing on that and on his desire to spread [his views]."