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Ombudsman’s report on handling of Ahmed Zaoui news

26 February 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Ombudsman’s report on Immigration Service’s handling of Ahmed Zaoui news

Progressive deputy leader Matt Robson is pleased to see that Minister of Immigration Paul Swain fully accepts the report of the Ombudsman released today.

“The Ombudsman’s report today clearly shows that Immigration Service head Mr Andrew Lockhart should have taken responsibility for a series of evasions and misinformation supplied to the Office of the Ombudsmen in regard to the ‘lying in unison’ investigation. There is a real question over Mr’s Lockhart’s suitability to continue in his job,” said Matt Robson.

The report showed that Mr Lockhart also had on his mind the perceived need for the Immigration Service not to take responsibility for Ahmed Zaoui being placed in solitary confinement in prison at Paremoremo - ‘non-voluntary segregation’ as it was euphemistically described.

“It is important now that full cooperation be given to the Ombudsmen and to the Police Complaints Authority as they investigate the complaints about the role of the departments of state that have involved in the case of Mr Zaoui and the repeated denial of natural justice.

“I am certain that my colleagues the Ministers will ensure that all matters are followed through fully and conscientiously,” said Matt Robson.

There will be a hearing tomorrow (Friday 27th) in the High Court at Auckland of Mr Zaoui’s application to have Judge Laurie Greig, Inspector General of Security, removed form the review of the case.


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