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  1. ITV Report

Grace Millane's killer jailed – why can't we name him?

The killer of British backpacker Grace Millane has been handed a life sentence at Auckland High Court. Credit: PA

The killer of British backpacker Grace Millane has been handed a life sentence at Auckland High Court.

But while the fate of the 28-year-old is able to be reported, his name cannot be published for legal reasons.

Here are the answers some questions about the case:

Why was Grace Millane’s murderer granted anonymity?

The reasons for the so-called suppression order, like the name of the killer himself, cannot be given for legal reasons.

Grace Millane, 22, was killed in New Zealand in December 2018. Credit: PA

Under what circumstances can someone be given anonymity?

New Zealand law says that the court has to be satisfied that publication of the person’s identity would cause hardship to the person charged, create a risk of prejudice to trial, or endanger the safety of any person as among the eight reasons for suppressing a defendant’s identity.

Why wasn’t the murderer identified when they were convicted or sentenced?

Simply, because the order remains in place until the judge says it is lifted.

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What punishments are there for those who breach the order?

Under the Criminal Procedure Act, punishments can include a six month jail sentence and a fine of up to 100,000 New Zealand dollars (£49,000).

Has anyone reported his name?

Yes. Some outlets outside of New Zealand have printed the name of the murderer. Breaching the order is not an offence which could lead to extradition and the long arm of New Zealand’s suppression law does not stretch to those overseas.

How are things different in the UK? Defendants are only granted anonymity in a number of instances by British courts, including where they are under 18.