Locke to move motion that Greig should go

Green MP Keith Locke is to move a motion in the House this week to remove the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Laurie Greig, from office.

In particular, the motion will call for a new Inspector-General to be appointed to consider the case of Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui.

“Greig has shown a fundamental lack of understanding with refugee issues, failing to consider New Zealand’s commitments to the 1951 international Refugee Convention and our human rights legislation,” said Green Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Keith Locke.

“It is unacceptable that the person charged with reviewing Security Risk Certificates under the Immigration Act does not know that asylum seekers cannot be turned away just because they arrive without proper documentation. People fleeing a repressive government are often unable to get official travel documents. The Inspector-General’s decisions on refugees should also be informed by international human rights covenants which prevent them being discriminated against, or sent back to countries where they may be tortured.”

The motion, if passed, will trigger section 7 of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1996. Mr Locke, Green foreign affairs spokesperson, argues that Mr. Greig’s behaviour and public comments amount to a “neglect of duty”, grounds for dismissal under the Act.

“My Notice of Motion will ask Parliament to recommend to the Governor-General that Mr Greig be removed from office.

“His interview with Gordon Campbell in the Listener shows prejudice towards Ahmed Zaoui, and asylum seekers in general. This is clearly unacceptable from the man who is effectively the only check or balance on our intelligence agencies”, said Mr. Locke.

“As a former High Court Judge, Mr. Greig knows full well that it is important to not prejudicing a case awaiting judgement. He should also be aware of relevant domestic and international legislation when forming an opinion. He appears to have ignored or overlooked both of these crucial matters, and as such has shown himself unfit for office.”

“I call on all MPs who believe that natural justice is too important to sideline, even for intelligence agencies, to support this motion.”

The Notice of Motion will be submitted to the Clerk of the House tomorrow morning. Mr Locke is hoping it will be debated and voted on this week.