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Zaoui: Govt incompetence on security

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Immigration Spokesman

9 December 2004

Zaoui: Govt incompetence on security

National's Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the release of Ahmed Zaoui from jail today makes a mockery of the Government's handling of the long-lasting, costly security issue. The Supreme Court today released Mr Zaoui on bail.

He is the first person to be subject to a national security risk certificate. "New Zealand's security laws are worryingly vague. The Government should talk to National about how to fix the law," says Mr Ryall.

"Instead, we have had a long-lasting legal saga which has cost the New Zealand taxpayer well over $1 million. The Government has been incompetent in dealing with this. "We are now in the bizarre situation where someone who may pose a serious threat to our national security has been released from jail and is free to roam the streets.

"Surely it was never the intention of Parliament that such a person could be released into the community.

"Either Mr Zaoui poses a serious threat to our national security or he does not. The Prime Minister must assure New Zealanders that if he does pose a threat, he will be sent back to where he came from.

"The Supreme Court needs to get on with its other appeal so the Inspector-General of Security can finally conduct his review of the national security risk certificate. That would be far more helpful than this bail decision. "Mr Zaoui has tied up our courts for over two years. The Government should have stepped in and sorted this mess out long ago," says Mr Ryall.

ENDS

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