Clark not impotent – Greig could be outski tomorrow

Green MP Keith Locke says the Prime Minister could act to remove the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. “She is playing with words by saying she does not have the power to remove him,” said Green Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Mr Locke.

“It’s true that as Prime Minister she cannot remove Mr Greig, but as Labour Leader she does have considerable sway in Parliament – which can remove him by voting to recommend to the Governor-General that this be done.

Together Labour and the Greens have a majority.

“If Labour supports my motion, which will appear on the Order Paper tomorrow, Greig will be ‘outski’.

“Mr Greig, no longer has the confidence of a substantial section of the community, including leading lawyers, civil libertarians and unionists.

“They say his comments in the Listener have prejudiced how he may deal with the Zaoui case.

The Prime Minister says whether he should have done the Listener interview is now “water under the bridge”.

“It will not be water under the bridge for Ahmed Zaoui if he is deported to Algeria,” said Mr Locke, “He will be tossed into the water, with a rock attached.

“The Refugee Status Appeals Authority stated that: ‘We are in no doubt that the appellant will be persecuted if returned. On arrival, he will be detained and almost certainly tortured.'”

“The office of the Inspector-General needs to have the confidence of the public and parliament. Without a vote on the matter on whether he has neglected his duties by ignoring the Refugees Convention, doubts will persist and cloud any future judgements reached by Greig,” concluded Mr Locke.

Wording of Motion:

That this House recommend to the Governor-General that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Mr Laurie Greig, be removed from office under Section 7 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996 for neglect of duty, as demonstrated by his comments in the 29 November 2003 issue of New Zealand Listener which, in the opinion of this House, show that he has neglected to inform himself about the rights of asylum seekers under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention thus preventing him from conducting reviews of Security Risk Certificates under the terms of the Immigration Act to an adequate professional standard.