INDEPENDENT NEWS

Silly Season Timing Perfect for Intelligence Rep.

Published: Tue 28 Dec 1999 12:18 AM
AZIZ CHOUDRY,
PO BOX 1905,
CHRISTCHURCH
27/12/1999
Media Release For Immediate Use
Silly Season Timing Perfect for Annual Intelligence and Security Report.
“Turkey, Chicken or Just Plain Stuffed” ?
The third annual report of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, retired High Court Judge Laurie Greig, tabled in Parliament last week, has come under fire from one of the first people to lay a complaint against the SIS with the Inspector-General.
“It’s pathetic. I can’t believe that someone actually got paid for writing this!” said Aziz Choudry after reading the 20-page document.
“I know it’s the silly season. But its bland assurances about the operations of the SIS and the GCSB and its self-congratulatory tone are bizarre, inappropriate and disturbing given Laurie Greig’s failure to adequately explain his conclusions that the actions and procedures surrounding the botched, illegal 1996 SIS break-in at my house was “lawful reasonable and justified” when the
Court of Appeal ruled the break-in to be illegal”.
“Indeed it was the Inspector General’s June 1997 whitewash of the SIS break-in and refusal to state whether or not SIS agents were involved which forced me to take a civil case through the courts.”
In his annual report, Mr Greig asserts that: “I believe that we can congratulate ourselves on being able to operate Security and Intelligence Services effectively and appropriately for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole on such a small scale.”
“Yet in correspondence to me following last year’s Court of Appeal ruling he conceded that his conclusions were based “in part, on an erroneous view of the law.””
“The Inspector-General’s report on my complaint appears to have been as botched as the bungled SIS break-in. And his annual report fails to acknowledge this failure in any way.”
“At a time when the new government is running hot with the rhetoric of accountability in the public sector and a fairer society, I can’t make my mind up as to whether the best description of the intelligence agencies and the supposed mechanisms of oversight is turkeys, chickens, or just plain stuffed,” he said.
“The oversight and review mechanisms are merely cosmetic. They are there for show – not effect.”
“1999 has seen the powers of the SIS greatly expanded with the passage of legislation which legalised an illegality supported by all parties except for the Greens and the Alliance. This report adds further weight to criticism levelled at New Zealand intelligence agencies that they remain unaccountable and a law unto themselves”.
Mr Choudry has no illusions that things will improve under the new Government.
“The Alliance has repeatedly called for an inquiry into SIS operations and its leader Jim Anderton has stated that he is opposed to the existence of the SIS. But Helen Clark actively dissuaded David Small and I from taking further action against the SIS after we had expressed our dissatisfaction with the Inspector-General’s findings, and has been unsympathetic and indeed hostile to concerns raised by a wide spectrum of New Zealanders about the role of the SIS. Indeed it is difficult to see the difference between Labour and National on this issue.”
For further comment: ph. Aziz Choudry at (03) 3484763
I

Next in New Zealand politics

Government to end tenure review
By: New Zealand Government
A new future for work skills training in NZ
By: New Zealand Government
Progress Stalled in Reducing Inequality
By: Salvation Army
SSC to seek answers on IRD survey
By: New Zealand Government
Prohibiting smoking in vehicles carrying children for health
By: New Zealand Government
Nationwide events to commemorate Waitangi Day 2019
By: New Zealand Government
Change to how iconic high country land is managed
By: New Zealand Government
High Country farmers face more uncertainty, costs
By: New Zealand National Party
Forest & Bird welcomes end to tenure review
By: Forest And Bird
Fish and Game welcomes the halt to tenure reviews
By: NZ Fish and Game Council
EDS not convinced abandoning tenure review is a good thing
By: Environmental Defence Society
Purchase of unique North Otago reserve announced
By: New Zealand Government
Regions will suffer under centralisation of training
By: New Zealand National Party
SIT should not be merged
By: New Zealand National Party
Govt should privatise vocational education
By: ACT New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media