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Al-Khashali Case A Sick And Expensive Joke

Media Release
09 May 2005

Al-Khashali Case A Sick And Expensive Joke

Rt Hon Winston Peters says New Zealanders will be alarmed to learn that a New Zealand lawyer has just set off a train of refugee appeals similar to the Ahmed Zaoui case.

“We can now expect many more of these cases, and Mr Laurent has the effrontery to accuse me of wrongdoing for simply naming a person who should not have been allowed here in the first place,” said Mr Peters.

“Stopped at the border, there would have been no case. Once here and found by the government, I would not have had to name him.”

Mr Peters said that statements from the head of the Iraqi Refugee Council of New Zealand have made it clear that al-Khashali does not come under the UN Convention’s definition of ‘refugee’, and confirm that this case “has absolutely no merit whatsoever.”

“Most absurd is Mr Laurent’s claim that his client’s case is based on fear of serious harm if his client returns to Iraq. How is it then that he had lived 10 months in Jordan before coming to New Zealand? Jordan is where al-Kashali should be sent back to.

“Additional claims that al-Khashali was here for private family reasons are unfounded because his family is back in Jordan.

“Mr Laurent also claims that fear would not have arisen if his client’s name had not been published. The problem with that argument is that his client, before being named, had already been to see McLeod and Associates, Ahmed Zaoui’s lawyers, to prepare a refugee application.

“There are teams of lawyers waiting to feed off the legal aid trough for these cases, which hold no merit and cost long suffering taxpayers a fortune,” concluded Mr Peters.

ENDS

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