INDEPENDENT NEWS

Locke calls for inquiry into SIS

Published: Mon 4 Aug 2003 10:32 AM
Locke calls for inquiry into SIS
Green MP Keith Locke is calling for an inquiry into the way the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) gathers and presents information, in the wake of damning independent criticism of the way it "sexed-up" evidence against Ahmed Zaoui.
The Refugee Status Appeals Authority, which granted refugee status to Mr Zaoui on Friday, levelled stinging criticism of the evidence submitted by the SIS about the Algerian's background.
"The Authority's report shows a shocking level of incompetence and bias in the SIS's intelligence gathering operations and a naïve trust in what it is told by journalists and overseas agencies," said Keith Locke, the Green Security and Intelligence spokesperson.
"It found that much of what the SIS submitted as 'fact' consisted 'solely of unsourced extracts from various news reports with no attempt to excise opinion from fact.'
"The Service, in some ways, acted as a propaganda agency for a repressive Algerian regime which admits to having killed 20,000 people. It has repeated fabrications about Mr Zaoui being a leader the Armed Islamic Group, and relayed evidence gained under torture.
"This is not about Mr Zaoui any more. Clearly he is not a terrorist. This is about an agency whose bumbling and doubtful political agenda is putting the future of New Zealanders at risk.
"Immigrants, asylum-seekers and many, many New Zealanders who apply for senior positions in the public service or security-sensitive jobs are vetted by the SIS. How much trust can we have in the findings of an agency that is so ready to accept at face value information provided about people by overseas agencies?
"How many people have been refused jobs or promotion on the basis of rumour and anecdotes, taken as gospel by the SIS?
"In Britain, Tony Blair and his spin doctor Alistair Campbell have had their 'proof' that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction unmasked as a lie. The parallel with our SIS is obvious.
"Our security service should not be able to get away with selectively presenting crude cut-and-paste evidence that will help determine the future of those who live here and those who wish to live here," Keith Locke said.
Now that the SIS's incompetence and bias has been revealed, nothing less than a full, independent inquiry into its operations will suffice to restore any confidence in it."

Next in New Zealand politics

Inquiry to improve mental health services
By: New Zealand Government
Oxfam NZ inequality data 2018
By: Oxfam
Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles Reconvened
By: New Zealand Government
Prime Minister and Clarke Gayford expecting first child
By: Office of the Prime Minister
New Year Honours List 2018
By: New Zealand Government
Action needed, not another inquiry
By: New Zealand National Party
Mental health inquiry a unique opportunity, let’s take it
By: YesWeCareNZ
Maternal Care Action Group Welcomes Mental Health Inquiry
By: Maternal Care Action Group - MCAGNZ
Action on Mental Health Review welcomed
By: ActionStation
Addressing cheap alcohol needs to be on the table
By: Joint Press Release
Lifeline welcomes mental health inquiry
By: LifeLine
Oxfam report shows there’s urgent need for tax on wealth
By: Auckland Action Against Poverty
Super-rich bagged 82 per cent of wealth created last year
By: Oxfam
Robertson's rocket for Treasury over child poverty error
By: BusinessDesk
David Parker heads to London and Davos World Economic Forum
By: New Zealand Government
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media