The Australian man convicted of the 2019 mosque terror attack has returned to Christchurch for the first time since carrying out his crimes.
Brenton Tarrant was transferred from Auckland on Aug 23 ahead of his sentencing in the High Court which begins on Aug 24.
Local media reported the 29-year-old was flown in an NZ Air Force Hercules aircraft before being taken from Christchurch airport in a convoy of six cars, including police and corrections officers.
Tarrant was shown handcuffed and wearing protective gear including a helmet in a photo published by the NZ Herald.
He is already in Christchurch justice precinct, according to Newshub, which includes police headquarters and the courtroom where he will be sentenced over the next four days.
Nearby streets have been closed off, and police are maintaining a strong presence around the city, including armed officers outside the two mosques Tarrant attacked last year.
Tarrant was convicted of 51 murders, 40 attempted murders and one count of terrorism in March after switching his plea to guilty.
The Grafton-raised man will represent himself in the proceeding after letting his legal representation go last month.
High Court Justice Cameron Mander revealed earlier this month that live reporting and online observations will be prohibited for the sentencing hearing.
Mander explained the prohibition is to reduce potential re-traumatisation of the victims through hearing victim statements. The other reason Mander said relates to the controversial 74-page manifesto Tarrant left at the crime scene.
Mander warned: “Media should also be aware that the classification of the defendant’s manifesto and video recordings of the mosque shootings as objectionable publications under the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 remain in place,” he said.
“Any republication of this content is prohibited and constitutes an offence.”