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Ombudsman delays investigation of Department of Immigration

Press Release: For Immediate Release.

NZ Government continues torture of its secret prisoner.

Last week the Ombudsman announced a further delay in its investigation of the NZ Department of Immigration’s abuse of Canterbury resident and Canadian citizen, Carolyn Dare Wilfred. Prior to that, there had been two previous, six-week extensions by the Ombudsman’s office of its decision not to allow Carolyn’s lawyer access to the government’s response to the questions it had posed on her behalf.

‘ Why should Carolyn, on what was to be a brief visit to Canada, continue to be blocked at the border to prevent her return to her home and husband in Lincoln?’

Carolyn and her husband Harmon have now been forcibly separated for nearly fourteen months. The couple had been living in New Zealand since 2001. Harmon, a de facto stateless refugee and CIA whistleblower, had entered NZ on his American passport in fear of his life. In 2004, when Harmon approached the US Consulate in Auckland for renewal of his passport, it was confiscated in an attempt to force his return to the US. Rather than risk liberty and life, Harmon renounced his US citizenship.

Ever since, he has been living with no travel documents and is thus, unable to leave the country. Successive New Zealand governments have refused Harmon’s repeated attempts to have his status regularised through the issue of citizenship for stateless persons under the New Zealand 1977 Citizenship Act. NZ’s refusal in this respect contravenes its treaty obligations to the UN in regard to Human Rights and the treatment of stateless persons.

Last year, on sale of her shares in a NZ company, ITTelenet Ltd., which she and Harmon had founded and of which she was a director, Carolyn’s, business residence visa expired. Carolyn, a wealthy heiress in her own right, applied for permanent residency under Steven Joyce’s ‘Investor Plus’ scheme. This scheme grants permanent residence to any foreign passport holder of good character, who undertakes to invest more than $10 million in NZ SMEs. It allows applicants multiple re-entries into NZ for the initial year, to enable them to seek out suitable investments. (Not that this concession should be relevant in Carolyn’s case, as there is a visitor visa waiver agreement between the NZ and Canadian governments.)

NZ Immigration informed Carolyn that application under the Investor Plus scheme had to be made from overseas. In September last year, in order to comply with NZ Immigration’s instructions and having informed Immigration of her intention, Carolyn left Christchurch to visit her daughter in Toronto, from where she could complete her application. Within 24 hours of her departure (and though she is of impeccable character and without even a parking ticket to her name) NZ Immigration issued an all-ports notice that she was to be refused re-entry into New Zealand.

Initially, Immigration informed Carolyn’s protesting lawyer that it was an administrative error that would soon be rectified. Fourteen months later, it still hasn’t been. The Honourable Michael Woodhouse, Minister of Immigration, has subsequently (and seemingly in cruel mockery, as he well knows that Harmon has no travel documents) suggested that he didn’t know what reason the couple had to complain, as her husband could always join his wife in another country, if he so wished.

Harmon is in effect, a prisoner of the New Zealand government. He is neither permitted to find employment and earn his living in New Zealand, nor to travel outside it. Though imprisoned in what might appear to be a gilded cage, with no end in sight, his sentence appears to be for life. Now New Zealand has deliberately separated him from his much loved spouse, again with no end in sight and possibly, given the lack of interest shown by their adopted country, for the remainder of their lives.

Why it is thought necessary, or even amusing, to inflict this extreme psychological torture on the couple, would appears inexplicable. That is, until the nature of Harmon’s whistle-blowing is understood. Harmon’s crime was not only to make public the magnitude of the CIA’s illegal money laundering operations, but also to draw attention to the depth of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s personal involvement in the operation. Whether on instructions or as a good mates’ gesture of good-will, the Wilfreds appear to be victims of vengeful retribution meted out by the NZ government on behalf of agencies of the US government.

This Press Release is issued by Hugh Steadman, a founder and director of The Prenzel Distilling Company of Blenheim, of which the Wilfreds’ holding company is a 50% shareholder. Readers wishing to know more of this situation are invited to read my blog No. 108http://www.khakispecs.com/?p=2686 (others of my blogs that refer are Nos. 90, 96, 101 & 105.)

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