Monday, 9 July 2007

Zaoui Hearing Underway

About bloody time. But it is still rank that he's been tried behind closed doors and will face charges that have been kept secret from him.

Mr Zaoui's lawyer Deborah Manning said before the hearing began this morning that the process was not a common one.

"It is very difficult of course to prepare for any hearing when information is secret so I don't think anyone's under any illusion that this is a normal fair hearing because it is based on secrecy."

(http://www.stuff.co.nz/4121958a11.html)
Zaoui was part of an Islamic party in Algeria, that was driven underground when it looked like it would win the 1991 election. In a fit of absurdity that only national governments are capable of delivering, the Algerian government cancelled the democratic elections on the gorunds that the Islamic Salvation Front's victory would endanger democracy.

Zaoui and his lawyers have already rebutted the claims made against him when the High COurt told the SIS to give his defence team a partial summary, excluding classified information (http://media.apn.co.nz/webcontent/document/pdf/ACFUAAAAayEh.pdf).

Classified information can go fuck itself. We're talknig about a human being here and he has rights which should be observed. Until now, he has not been told why he is being detained. New Zealand's treatment of Zaoui is shameful, a blot on our record of being relatively sensible about this whole war on terror fiasco.

Deborah Manning says a decision is likely by the end of the year. Get on with it.

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