Greens Want Investigation of Kiwis’ Role in UNSCOM

The Green Party wants the government to investigate the role of the Kiwi members of UN weapons monitoring unit in Iraq, UNSCOM.

“We need to make sure New Zealand UNSCOM members have not been spying for the United States the way former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter admits he was,” said Green Party Foreign Affairs spokesperson Keith Locke.

[The Sunday Star-Times today ran a KRT item quoting Mr Ritter as saying he installed a listening device to enable the US to eavesdrop on Saddam Hussein’s inner circle.]

“Mr Ritter’s admission damages the credibility of UNSCOM as a non-partisan body.

“New Zealand has been strongly represented on UNSCOM. In 1997/98 14 Defence Force personnel worked for this UN body. They included operations and communications staff that could have been, like Mr Ritter, involved in electronic surveillance for the United States.

The government should interview these officers, to make sure they haven’t been involved in any spying.

“A proper investigation would help clear New Zealand’s name and that of its officers in UNSCOM,” said Mr Locke.