Delegation to Attorney General & Solicitor General

Published: Thu 8 Nov 2007 09:26 AM
Private Bag 68905, Newton,Auckland.
8 November 2007
Media Release:
Delegation to Attorney General and Solicitor General today
GPJA is co-ordinating a delegation to parliament today to appeal directly to the Attorney General to use the power delegated to him to decline to lay anti-terror charges against those arrested on October 15th.
Making up the delegation will be leaders from Tuhoe, trade union representatives, politicians, church and community group representatives.
The delegation will be meeting outside parliament from 12.45pm. By that time we hope to have a definitive time to meet with Mr Cullen. We have also requested a meeting with Solicitor General David Collins QC.
The law requires the "public interest" be taken into account in the decision whether or not to lay anti-terror charges. It is on this basis we are lobbying these men. So far the only input they have had has been from the police who are keen to use their new laws and new powers.
The message to the Attorney General is outlined in the letter below sent to both men this morning.
8 November 2007
Rt Hon Michael Cullen
Attorney General
Parliament Buildings
Cc David Collins QC
Solicitor General
Kia Ora Dr Cullen
Re Terrorism Suppression Act 2002
We the undersigned organisations and individuals are urging you to use the power delegated to you under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 to decline to lay charges under this legislation in relation to those arrested last month by police in the so-called "anti-terror" raids.
There is widespread concern and mistrust of the anti-terror legislation across New Zealand communities. These laws are seen by many to have been passed not so much to meet our obligations to the United Nations Security Council but to sanction greater use of state powers of surveillance and control over those involved in political dissent.
We believe it would be a very damaging development for the New Zealand government to approve use of this legislation in the current environment. We risk changing the very character of the country in a situation where there are very sensitive political issues involved.
All the police allegations of illegal activity are already covered under existing New Zealand laws. This existing legislation can be applied without anti-terror provisions being invoked.
We urge you to act with sensitivity and understanding of the nature of our democracy.

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