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

 

APEC Opponent Claims Victory in SIS Case

GATT Watchdog and APEC Monitoring Group organiser Aziz Choudry has announced that he and the Crown have reached an out-of-court settlement of his civil claim following the illegal break-in of his home by two Security Intelligence Service agents just prior to the July 1996 APEC Trade Ministers Meeting.

The settlement involves a payment to Mr Choudry of substantial damages and towards his legal costs, and an apology.

"This is a victory, but I'm unimpressed by the calibre of the Crown's "apology" for the illegal break-in".

"The Government is really only 'sorry' that its SIS agents got caught. It has gone to great lengths to cover up its dirty tricks. It must have a lot to hide," he said.

Mr Choudry says he is pleased to have scored a rare victory over the SIS given its history of being unaccountable to either the public or the courts. He is also pleased that the case has exposed that the official SIS complaints procedure, which recent law changes leave untouched, is a complete farce.

"Any reasonable observer would agree that in the absence of any other explanation, what this case shows is that the SIS have indeed been taking action against people engaged in lawful political protest and dissent".

"The break-in occurred while I was involved with organising an alternative conference in opposition to the APEC Trade Ministers Meeting. Ironically, this settlement comes as I am part of a group organising an alternative conference and rally opposed to APEC at the time of September's APEC Leaders Summit."

"Human rights violations are synonymous with APEC meetings. The government, and especially those responsible for the huge security operation for next month's Auckland APEC summit should remember that the heavy-handed actions of state security forces against critics of APEC at the time of APEC meetings tend to haunt the governments which sanction them long after the event."

He noted that the brutal security crackdown around the November 1997 Vancouver APEC Summit was still the subject of a politically explosive inquiry into the security operations.

"My case and the questions it raises are a major source of embarrassment for the Government. I have heard from a reliable source that Don McIver, the current Director of the SIS considered resigning over this affair. No wonder the Government wants to get this matter settled prior to the APEC Leaders Summit. But if the Government thinks it can brush the issues and concerns that this case has raised in relation to the SIS, the "mantra of national security" and the rights of people to dissent under the carpet, it is very wrong."

"Senior Police officers and the LTSA were complicit in facilitating and covering up this illegal break in. They actively obstructed attempts to get to the bottom of this incident and covered the SIS's tracks. But heads won't roll because they can all hide behind a convenient shroud of "national security" How many other undetected illegal SIS break-ins have they and other government agencies taken part in?"

Mr Choudry was scathing about claims that there were checks and balances and mechanisms of oversight in place to curb potential abuses of SIS power.

"The supposed statutory checks and balances on the powers of the SIS did not work as soon as they were put to the test shortly after their 1996 revamp. The report into my complaint to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was a whitewash. And the 1999 legislative amendments have actually expanded the powers of the SIS, not reined them in."

"The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security was unwilling or unable even to admit the involvement of the SIS in his report into my complaint against the SIS on the bungled 1996 operation. I had to take legal action to get an admission from the Crown that the SIS - and that their entry was illegal."

Aziz Choudry (09) 3025390 xt 833 or (021) 217 3039

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election