Grace Millane: Why does New Zealand say killer can't be named?

British backpacker Grace Millane’s killer has been jailed for life in New Zealand after being convicted of murdering her.

Grace’s mother confronted her daughter’s killer as he was jailed for a minimum of 17 years at Auckland High Court, telling him Grace had “died terrified and alone in your room”, and saying he had robbed her family of memories they were going to create.

The 28-year-old killer’s identity has been publicly revealed by some publications but technically, an order remains in place banning the publication of Grace’s 28-year-old killer and any image of him.

Here’s why:-

Grace Millane's killer has been jailed for life but still can't be named (Picture: PA)

This is why New Zealand's courts have asked for him not to be named

Grace’s killer is subject to a ‘suppression’ order, which means certain information can be prevented from being revealed.

In this case, the order prohibits the publication of the accused's name or picture.

According to the Courts of New Zealand website, suppression orders can be applied to a defendant, a witness, a victim, or someone associated with the case.

Suppression orders can be permanent, temporary while a judge considers an application, or in place until the matter is disposed of by the courts.

Grace Millane's mother confronted her daughter's killer in court via video-link. (Picture: Greg Bowker/Getty Images)

What is the reason for the suppression order in Grace’s killer’s case?

In the case of Grace Millane’s killer, the reasons for the suppression order cannot be given for legal reasons.

More generally, someone can be given anonymity if the court is satisfied that publication of their 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.

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So when will it be okay to name the killer?

Some publications have already done so, but technically the suppression order remains in place until the judge says it is lifted.

That means that even though Grace Millane’s murderer has been convicted and sentenced, the order is still in place.

During Grace's killer's trial, the jury was shown CCTV that showed him inside a hotel lift with his victim. (Picture: PA)

Do the same kind of rules exist in the UK?

Defendants in court are only granted anonymity in a number of instances in Britain, including where they are under 18.

In Grace Millane’s killer’s case, what happens if someone breaches 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 Grace’s killer’s name?

Some outlets outside of New Zealand have printed his name.

That’s because breaching the suppression order is not an offence which could lead to extradition and New Zealand’s suppression law does not stretch to those overseas.