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Time for Inspector-General to rule

Hon Tony Ryall National Party Immigration Spokesman
25 November 2004

Time for Inspector-General to rule

National’s Immigration spokesman, Tony Ryall, says the Inspector-General of Security should hurry up and make a decision on Ahmed Zaoui.

The Supreme Court today ruled that the court has the jurisdiction to grant bail to the asylum seeker.

“We are now facing the extraordinary situation where someone who may pose a serious threat to national security could be roaming the streets within weeks,” says Mr Ryall.

He says the process dealing with Mr Zaoui is farcical.

“Mr Zaoui has been here for almost two years, tying up our courts and costing the taxpayer well over a million dollars and we still don’t really know why.

“He either poses a serious threat to our national security or he doesn’t. If he does, we should send him back to where he came from. If he doesn’t, why is he clogging up our legal system and costing us so much money?”

Mr Zaoui is the only person to have ever been subject to a National Security Certificate in this country. The Inspector-General of Security is reviewing the security risk.

“If he decides the risk is serious, Mr Zaoui will be deported, but if he decides it’s not then he will, effectively, be granted permanent residency as a refugee,” says Mr Ryall.

“It’s time for the Inspector-General to do his job and provide some certainty”.

ENDS

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