What do you do when the state locks you in jail and calls you a terrorist - but refuses to say why?
For the first time John Keir reveals the inside story of the fight to free New Zealand’s highest-profile political prisoner Ahmed Zaoui, from the man himself and the lawyers who took on the Prime Minister and the SIS to save him.
Chapter 10: Postscript
Zaoui is finally free to enjoy life in New Zealand and be reunited with his wife and children. Then he gets a mysterious offer to return to Algeria. Narrator John Keir reflects on what Zaoui’s story tells us about ourselves as a country and about the two remarkable women who faced off against each other, Deborah Manning and Helen Clark.
Chapter 9: The Backdown
Deborah Manning produces her star witness but runs into an unexpected obstacle. Eventually as the SIS case crumbles, Zaoui wins not just his freedom but a private moment of vindication.
Chapter 8: Dirty Tricks
Finally, the hearing to review Ahmed Zaoui’s security risk certificate is scheduled for July 2007. Deborah Manning’s secret witness flies into New Zealand and Ahmed Zaoui comes face to face with the man who destroyed his life.
Chapter 7: Playing Detective
Deborah Manning decides that if the SIS won’t reveal their evidence, then she will find it independently by travelling to Europe to penetrate the secret world of the European security agencies. There she comes across a shadowy figure who will change everything.
Chapter 6: Crescent and Cross
Zaoui gets bail and is given sanctuary with a houseful of Catholic priests in central Auckland – but his lawyer worries he will be framed again. Meanwhile, Stuart Grieve QC enters the picture as a ‘special advocate’ with security clearance to see the top-secret SIS material.
Chapter 5: The Tipping Point
Zaoui becomes a hero when he is transferred from solitary confinement to Mt Eden Prison, where some inmates believe he is a friend of Osama bin Laden. Meanwhile, the stress of the case has an impact on his lawyer Deborah Manning’s personal life.
Wow. Can’t believe this even happened in New Zealand.
Important. Sobering, troubling.
A chilling window into how NZ’s legal systems functioned when dealing with a significant “other”.