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Government spinning dead men in their graves

23 January, 2004

Government spinning dead men in their graves

Green MP Keith Locke accused the government of spinning its failure to realise it had named a dead man on its list of 20 alleged terrorists released yesterday.

"The idea that they put a dead person in the list on purpose is laughable," said Mr Locke, the Green Foreign Affairs spokesperson. "Talk about spin. This is spinning dead people in their graves.

"They should now make a point of circulating their dead terrorist lists to burial grounds. We don't want cemetery directors caught under the 'harbouring' provisions of the Terrorism Suppression Act, or gravediggers prosecuted for hiding the evidence.

"At its next meeting Cabinet needs to make an urgent policy decision. How long does an alleged terrorist need to be dead before they are included on New Zealand's terrorist watch list?

"Customs and immigration have enough trouble looking for live suspects, let alone checking all the dead terrorists trying to enter the country.

"The government is sending a clear message to all alleged terrorists around the world: 'you can be dead, but you still can't hide'. At least it's treating all people, dead or alive, equally.

"Helen Clark must remove the shroud of secrecy around this immortal danger to our security. Otherwise it won't have a ghost of a chance of handling this grave problem, and may be haunted by it for the rest of its term," said Mr Locke.

ENDS

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