Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Investigative Documentary: Behind The Shroud Released


Decade Since Zaoui Sought Asylum In NZ – Have We Learned From SIS's Mistakes?

.Investigative Documentary: Behind The Shroud Released



Ten years has now passed since Algerian politician Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand seeking asylum. But what assurances have we been given to ensure our intelligence agencies do not fail tax payers again?

Journalist and director of the investigative documentary film Behind The Shroud, Selwyn Manning, said after ten years since Zaoui arrived at Auckland International Airport claiming to be a legitimate refugee - where he was accused by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (SIS) of being terrorist – the public is none the wiser as to why he was finally allowed to live freely in this country.

Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand on December 2, 2002 and was immediately detained under terrorism suppression laws.

In 2003, the SIS issued New Zealand's first security risk certificate deeming Ahmed Zaoui a threat to New Zealand's national security. He was then imprisoned for almost two years (including ten months in solitary confinement in Paremoremo maximum security prison). He experienced years of being vilified in the Parliament by Cabinet Ministers and MPs, and he was considered a dangerous extremist by thousands of Kiwis.

Suddenly in 2007, the Director of Security Dr Warren Tucker informed New Zealanders Zaoui was no longer a threat.

“But after costing tax payers in excess of $4million, what the Director of Security did not tell New Zealanders was why the intelligence agency got this asylum seeker case so wrong,” Selwyn Manning said.

“The way this case ended left a raft of unanswered questions.

“Why was it that in 2007 the New Zealand Government canceled its security risk certificate against the refugee? Why after years fighting in the High Court and Court of Appeal the SIS and the Government dropped their case? Who or what caused the Government to back down?

“In short, officially, the public were denied an explanation as to why Ahmed Zaoui and his family were suddenly invited to live in peace in New Zealand,” Selwyn Manning said.

Finally, after five years of investigation, the documentary film Behind The Shroud answers many of the unanswered questions and has now been released to the public.

The documentary goes deep into the backstory of Zaoui's experience, investigates why the NZSIS cancelled its security risk certificate, and makes public for the first time interviews with two secret witnesses who each gave testimony at classified hearings held by Justice Paul Neazor, New Zealand's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security.

“The revelations of Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Samraoui, the Algeria regime's former head of intelligence and counter-espionage in north Europe, and Professor George Joffe, the UK's expert on north Africa affairs from Cambridge University, both reveal why Zaoui was considered an enemy of his homeland, why Algeria launched a black-flag operation against him, and why he would likely be executed should he return to Algeria,” Selwyn Manning said.

He said: “The testimonies offer compelling evidence of how totalitarian regimes work to destroy or neutralise their opponents.

“The testimony presented in this documentary also lays bare how our intelligence agencies in New Zealand failed to accurately assess whether information supplied by France, Belgium and Switzerland could be relied on, or whether it had been corrupted by disinformation created by Algeria's military intelligence agency the DRS,” Selwyn Manning said.

The documentary Behind The Shroud presents a critique as to whether New Zealand's intelligence agencies' external assessments are serving our public and national interest.

Experts interviewed include: Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie, former senior intelligence officer and adviser to prime minister John Howard; Dr Paul Buchanan, former US security analyst; and the late Graeme Hunt, journalist and historian. These three men argue intelligence agency reform is necessary.

Others, like former politicians Hon Matt Robson and Green MP Keith Locke give a commanding appraisal of how the New Zealand Government became compliant to a disinformation campaign masterminded by Algeria, a foreign authoritarian regime.

“Surely, after ten years, the New Zealand public deserves to know why tax payer money to the tune of over $4million was wasted. Additionally, Kiwis deserve to be assured that such a huge mistake in both fiscal and human terms will not and can not happen again,” Selwyn Manning said.

For more on the documentary Behind The Shroud, including a list of the full cast and trailer, see www.LoneWolfFilmsNZ.com.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news