Man accused of threatening to kill Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A Christchurch man has been charged after he threatened to kill Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The 35-year-old was granted pretrial detention for the registrar at Christchurch District Court on Thursday. He was given the temporary name Suppression until his next appearance.

According to court documents, the alleged crime dates back to March 11, 2019, when the accused was in Australia.

The maximum penalty for a death threat charge is seven years in prison.

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This is not the first time that threats have been made against Ardern. Last month, a 34-year-old man appeared in Wellington District Court after he threatened to kill New Zealand’s prime minister.

In 2020, a man pleaded not guilty to a charge of sending threatening emails to Ardern between October 2019 and January 2020.

Also in 2020, an Australian man was jailed for making threats against Ardern, Muslims and mosques. Cormac Patrick Rothsey pleaded guilty in Newcastle court to charges of posting extremist threats on social media in September 2019.

In November 2019, a 20-year-old man from Northern Ireland was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after sending death threats to Ardern and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Matthew Burns, of County Armagh, admitted sending a photo of Ardern five days after the March 15 attacks on the Christchurch mosque with a gun with a silencer bearing the message: “You’re next.”

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