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National calls for inquiry into Ryder case

National calls for inquiry into Ryder case

National's Tony Ryall says he's staggered that the Corrections and Justice Ministers knew of the dangers posed by serial sex offender Barry Ryder, but did nothing.

Mr Ryall's calling for a full independent inquiry into the case, in the wake of Ryder's sentence today to preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of nine years.

"This case has been a major embarrassment. It's been completely mismanaged by the Corrections Department and the inaction by the Corrections and Justice Ministers is appalling.

"The information released by the Department today clearly raises more questions than it answers. Why did Corrections reduce the level of supervision for Ryder knowing that he posed such a serious risk to himself, and to the community?

"Why did Phil Goff stand by and let this happen when he's on record in 1994 as saying he had "grave concerns" about Ryder being released?

"In 1995 when in opposition, Mr Goff accused National of inaction over Ryder, blaming the then Health and Justice Ministers for Ryder's release. He said "those ministers, through their failure to act when warned about Mr Ryder specifically....must bear responsibility for the appalling sequence of events that led to Mr Barry Ryder's conviction today."

"We hold Mr Goff accountable for what has happened to Ryder, and to his victims. As Minister, he oversaw Ryder's release in 2001, yet he washed his hands of the case and didn't even bother to investigate the level of supervision required.

"Further, it's inconceivable that on a case of such wide public interest, the Corrections Minister was not advised of the reduced supervision arrangements for Ryder.

"And even worse, there is no evidence that the Corrections Department, or the Ministers, were working with any authority to provide the care and protection Ryder clearly needed outside his parole period.

"Serious answers go begging, and a full independent inquiry into the handling of this case is the only way we will get them," says Mr Ryall.

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