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

On Thompson+ Clark, and Russia’s FIFA World Cup
By: Gordon Campbell
Gordon Campbell on the GCSB’s security hang-up with Russia
By: Gordon Campbell
Prime Minister to attend CHOGM
By: New Zealand Government
No new permits for offshore exploration
By: New Zealand Government
Summit identifies actions to improve road safety
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand scores highly in OECD tax transparency review
By: New Zealand Inland Revenue
Farmers give thumbs down to new taxes
By: Federated Farmers
Tax Working Group welcomes submissions on future of tax
By: Tax Working Group
Tax Working Group open minded on how to future proof tax
By: Tax Working Group
Tax Working Group members announced
By: New Zealand Government
Tax Working Group Terms of Reference announced
By: New Zealand Government
Tax Working Group underwhelming
By: New Zealand National Party
IRD says anti-BEPS bill may stoke sales booked in NZ
By: BusinessDesk
IRD auditing 16 multinational over $100 mln of tax avoidance
By: BusinessDesk
Real estate investors to lose tax loophole
By: BusinessDesk
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media