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Way Is Now Clear For Zaoui To Return Home

8 March 2006

Way Is Now Clear For Zaoui To Return Home – At Last

New Zealand First says that Ahmed Zaoui's charmed taxpayer funded existence must come to an end with the news that the Algiers government is granting an amnesty to those belonging to the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS).

Under the amnesty, the Algiers government is releasing over 2500 Islamists, including high-ranking members of Mr Zaoui's party.

"The Algiers Government's release yesterday of Ali Belhadj, the former deputy leader of the FIS party, is the clearest signal yet that Zaoui is not at risk in his homeland and he should end his drain on the New Zealand taxpayer by getting on the next plane to Algeria,” said Deputy Leader Peter Brown.

"The amnesty also means that any grounds for Zaoui to claim refugee status are very shaky and the more than $2million in costs he has inflicted on the New Zealand taxpayer have been for nothing.

"While the amnesty will make it safe for Zaoui to return to Algeria, it will not remove the consequences of his terrorist related convictions in other European destinations.

"Hopefully we have learned the hard lessons from the Zaoui fairytale – that turning a so-called refugee with terrorist related convictions into a folk hero does nothing to enhance our border security.

"Zaoui should now return to his homeland, which he said on his release from prison was his ultimate aim, and cease to be a burden to the New Zealand taxpayer. In fact, his ticket home should be the last cost we are forced to pay.

"He should not pass go, he should not collect another $2 million dollars, he should just go straight to Algeria. I’m even prepared to drive him to the airport,” concluded Mr Brown.

ENDS

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