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Ahmed Zaoui could get ‘Get Out Of Jail’ card

19 July 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Ahmed Zaoui could get ‘Get Out Of Jail’ card

The decision of the High Court on the application of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui makes it clear that responsible Ministers have the power to move him to the Mangere refugee centre.

“Ministers should act humanely and move Ahmed Zaoui from Auckland Central Remand Prison. He has been detained for 20 months and is approaching the first anniversary of the Refugee Status Appeals Authority decision which found him to be a genuine refugee,” said Progressive MP Matt Robson.

“While the Court declined to order the government to transfer Mr. Zaoui, it also made it clear there is nothing stopping a transfer.

“While New Zealand is waiting for the new Inspector-General of Security to undertake the review of the security risk certificate issued by the SIS, Mr. Zaoui need not be in prison. He has had to go to Court – and win – to know what the allegations against him are.

“Contrast that with the treatment of the Israeli passport fraudsters. When arrested they were charged and they were told the charges. They remained in the community on bail until their day in Court. Their counsel knew the full prosecution case. The fraudsters decided to plead guilty and have been sentenced to six months in prison – less than a third of the time Mr. Zaoui has already been incarcerated,” said Matt Robson.

ENDS

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