Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Lie in unison issue only the tip of Zaoui iceberg

26 February, 2004

'Lie in unison' issue only the tip of Zaoui iceberg

Green MP Keith Locke says the culture of secrecy revealed by the Ombudsman's report into the 'lie in unison' affair in the Immigration Service is an inherent feature of the entire Zaoui debacle.

"Andrew Lockhart, the general manager of the Immigration Service, should go," said Mr Locke, Green Party spokesperson on Human Rights.

"He created a climate of super-secrecy around the Zaoui case that infected those lower down, such as the author of the 'lie in unison' letter, Ian Smith. Smith should not be the fall guy for a problem infecting the whole department.

"We need a much more open and accountable Immigration Service. It should uphold the spirit of the Official Information Act and volunteer, rather than hide, documents.

"It is shocking what happened to Mr Zaoui at that time. He was being slandered as a terrorist and isolated in Paremoremo. When I first visited Mr Zaoui, just before the 'lie in unison' letter, he was denied access to a Koran, writing materials, a radio or contact with his family. For helping Mr Zaoui I was slandered in Ian Smith's media log.

"It is good the Ombudsman is holding a broader inquiry into the way the Immigration Service, Corrections and Customs have, in my view, mishandled the Zaoui case.

"The comments from Mr Lockhart in the report show that the Immigration Service conspired with other agencies to keep Mr Zaoui and his case away from the public. The police view expressed in a memo just before the 'lie in unison' memo was that: 'There is also a political risk that he [Mr Zaoui] will try to gain some support by utilizing the media'.

"This sort of anti-democratic reasoning seems to have consistently motivated officialdom in their dealings with Mr Zaoui. The anxiety about the media has been repeated in the Sri Lankan girl's case, where it led to the demise of Lianne Dalziel.

"From day one, the Zaoui case has been bedevilled by the withholding of critical information by various government officials. For instance, we have only recently seen the summary of the SIS allegations against him, and they are either false or laughable.

"So far the only person coming out of this affair looking fully honest is Ahmed Zaoui himself. The Refugee Status Appeals Authority has described his answers to their questions as truthful, uncontrived and candid - even when the evidence may have proven to be disadvantageous."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news