GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – Why couldn’t the system keep us safe from an ISIS terrorist?

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Judy’s in trouble again.  Crusher failed to provide the legislation to crush terrorism?

This media attack on her decision eight years ago, not to increase powers and invent new laws in the struggle against terrorism, I consider to be muck racking journalism.  If there is a fault in the Hallowed Halls of parliament, it may lie with the current governments delay progressing “terror” reform legislation as recommended by the Law Commission following the Christchurch massacre.

Social media has whacked the police for all manner of “negligence” but this time I defend the Fuzz.  They were, by the accounts of the “incident” I’ve perused, been compromised but their swift “60 seconds” response does suggest to me that they were onto it.  They simply had to, wait their moment. 

Note: Recently I have penned a case to arm police 24/7 but the caveat is that the IPCA should be replaced by proper Courts of Law to determine police culpability.

Rather than blame the current government or Hon Collins, one might instead lay the blame successive governments over the decades, for failing to fine tune the problem of there being no specific crime in the books, that apply to, “one person planning a crime”.

The question of whether an alleged ISIS sympathiser who was shot dead by police in West Auckland, should have been in prison, tends to shift the focus onto the Courts where (according to media and my understanding of what has transpired) various decisions relating to the current case, concluded: 

  • A:   No provisions exist in our laws to deal with an individual planning a terror event, and 
  • B:  It is up to parliament to make the laws, not the Courts – whose task is to apply the laws with some degree of interpretation which becomes Case Law.

I concur with B but take issue with A: that there is no opportunity to apply existing law to a situation where one person plans a crime.

Stages of committing a crime.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The ingredients of actus reus and mens rea – these being the elements of actually committing the crime and of having intention to commit the crime or guilty mind, are relevant, but this review focuses exclusively at the stages of crimes

  • If one commits a robbery, one is deemed to be a principal offender and liable to be charged with, robbery.
  • If one assists a person commit a robbery, e.g., collects the bandit while making an exit, the crime of being a party to the crime of robbery, might be applied.
    • Usually, the penalty for being a party is half that of the principal crime.
  • If a bandit intending to commit robbery, tried to enter a bank but couldn’t open the door and gets pinged by the police before the act of robbery is completed, a charge of attempted robbery may apply.
    • Case denotes what stage prior to the actual crime being committed, may render a perpetrator guilty of attempt.  
      •  e.g.  “Couldn’t open the door”, might constitute a pen-ultimate act, but also an anti-pen-ultimate act – that is, a step further back from the final act of crime, can introduced.
  • Accessory after the fact, may apply where assistance is provided to a bandit by providing help to avoid detection over the days following the commission of a crime.

There are also circumstances before a crime are committed, which can incur the wrath of the law.

  • If three or more person discuss and plan with intent to commit a robbery, a charge of conspiring to commit crime, could apply.  
    • And this is irrespective of whether they conspirators go ahead with their plan.

Where I take issue with the Court decisions, which based on media I have read appear to claim that no provision exists in the current law to charge someone for planning a crime, is that in my view, (again, based on what has been provided by media coverage) there was ample evidence that the deceased was planning to commit a crime.

  • Purchasing a knife – no crime
  • Collecting information on how to be a terrorist – no crime.

However, persistently expressing intention to do harm to others, in my view, begins to build a case of intention to do harm.  Apropos the above stages of crime:

  • The deceased did not conspire with others to injure persons – so, no conspiracy.
  • The deceased did not commit the act of injuring another person.
  • The deceased had not (prior to the day of his attack on other persons) taken steps which might constitute and attempt to injure person.  For example, collecting his weapons and driving to the shopping mall.

The question is; did the actions of the deceased, collecting a weapon and hoarding instructions about how to commit acts of terrorism, and persistently making threats, constitute an attempt to commit crime via anti-pen-ultimate actions?

Addendum 

It does not matter that the crime was to be an act of terror.

Injuring people is an existing crime under the Crimes Act.

  • This was a lesson learned by the “establishment”  the aftermath of the Tuhoe Affair, where the Solicitor General had to rebuke the police for its application of “terror legislation” in lieu of using more appropriate crimes under existing law of the Arms Act and Crimes Act. 

Or, as the maxim goes: One does not need a hammer to crush and ant.

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as a Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland spies; currently Honorary Consul for an African state Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in New Zealand and has international business interests.

 

53 COMMENTS

  1. Number 1. The decreased is wholly responsible for what occurred, not any other person.

    You’re not too far wrong about other laws but they are minor and there is a trend against incarceration at the present.

    But…

    Immigration had been trying to deport him over falsification of his refugee status. He was at least by then looking to cause serious harm from delusional thoughts. But immigration laws are not to navigate easy especially when lawyers get involved because the legislation is so full of loop holes

    According to reports this morning, the government by at least 2018 knew this guy was a serious terrorist threat so they sought advice. They knew the difficulties NZ Immigration were having.

    Where was the Minister? Seeking advice apparently.

    Fast forward to September 2021 to 7 completely innocent people being wounded and or maimed by this man that even the PM was aware of.

    Where was the Minister? Seeking advice!

    I’m sorry Jacinda but you confuse doing nothing as acceptable. You’ve done it throughout your time as Prime Minister. You’ve done it with the housing catastrophe, mental health (ironically), Covid planning and a plethora of other things. You think seeking advice for 3 years but doing nothing is doing something.

    One of your jobs is to look after your citizens and this man was a known serious threat. Rather than amend the Immigration Act you got tangled up in hate speech that would not have done anything here. And did nothing.

    You now hide behind seeking advice to do nothing as acceptable.

    It isn’t. Ever!

    • And it wasn’t acceptable under National’s reign either. Politicising this is pointless.
      What is clear is that not one more cent should be spent on him or on all these BS “processes”. Deport him now. No ifs, no but but buts, no maybes. We do not have to have these people in our country. The way he has behaved since arriving in 2011 on a dodgy student visa cancels out any so-called “rights”. And you can bet he’s pushed the mental health and wellbeing buttons for all they’re worth. Give the judiciary and the bureaucrats a rark up too.

  2. What you say Ross is logical and correct.
    But given the emotion swirling around at the moment how relevant is it?
    Having all the legal boxes ticked is not going to wash with the general public this time.
    There is going to be a general baying of the hounds for blood.
    I read in another post about the possibility of Don Brash coming back to help Judith Collins retain National’s leadership.
    If so you can expect Don Brash to totally manipulate the racial divide into a simple “them and us”, bring Judith into the fold and laugh as social media explodes with racial hatred.
    The underlying message will be “f.. the law” and a vigilante culture will be promoted.
    A very unhealthy situation.
    It is going to be a very difficult situation for Jacinda and Labour to manage.

  3. Its all about harm minimization. The machine gun reforms worked. The damaged caused by terrorists on NZ soil, again, has been taken down a peg or too.

    There was no intelligence failures, we saw nothing of the previous 20 years of learning how to fight terrorism or not learning.

    The death rate has been significantly reduced. Like it or not, this was a successful operation.

    There is no notoriety, there are no claims to fame. Terrorism on NZ soil has list its allure and appeal.

    (And another thing. I’v always been an advocate for real time surveillance )

  4. Hi Ross, I agree with your views on the laws and their interpretation, I think it might have been more beneficial to society if the Police had tried to section the suspect under the mental health act, instead of pursuing a charge, using not fit for purpose terror laws.

    Regards.

    • It seems they did look at having him sectioned but he refused to have a psychological assessment. Not sure we want to get into having people prove their sanity, but maybe making him undergo an assessment could have been made a condition of him earning a release. He could then be detained for as long as he refused to be assessed.

      • To detain someone, all you need is a doctor to prove that the person is a danger to themselves and others. Doesn’t sound that hard in this case. The difficulty would have been keeping him detained. Just sounds like nobody is very invested on the crown side to do anything about these high needs people in NZ. The crown lose practically every case because the crown doesn’t seem too motivated to deport people out of NZ.

        The answer is not to let these people into NZ on dodgy student and other visas in the first place. Fraud is rampant and so is the immigration lawyers who seem to be criminals themselves in some cases.

        It’s cheaper to buy a NZ visa than risk a refrigerated van and boat crossings. To get refugee status in NZ, you just hop on a plane and get served in flight nuts. Easy to find many recruits for terrorists and other criminal activity expanding here, like drug lords.

        Hot on You tube, showing the joys of crime and fraud in NZ. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/365583/punjabi-singer-gets-home-detention-for-drivers-licences-bribes

        They tried to deport the driver license briber, but years later he was still here. The entire case is food for thought on how easy it was for a youth criminal to pay for a 1 years student visa, ‘rebrand’ his dead end job as a ‘manager’ and of course end up in a place to make a lot more money by corrupt means. Drivers licenses are a form of identity, but clearly nobody cares in NZ who does this type of work.

        • “Doesn’t sound that hard in this case.”

          That’s the problem. What has seemed to be the obvious action to take at multiple junctures in this terrorist’s history, just hasn’t been done.

  5. As long as terrorist nations like the US keep terrorising semidefenceless nations via military hardware and economic assaults people in semidefenceless nations will keep fighting back via whatever means they have.

    The good news is that the US is in terminal decline, and globalisation is unravelling. Once international travel becomes impossible most of the problems foisted on NZ will end.

    That said, we will be facing a far bigger set of :problems’ as a consequence of the decades-long assaults on the environment (actually centuries-long but most of the damage has been done in recent decades ).

    Such matters as individual attacks by lone gunmen or knife wielders etc.will fade into insignificance quite soon as the energetic+environmental catastrophe unleashed on us by our so-called friends manifests in all kinds of very nasty ways.

  6. For me it all comes down to basic, dumb-ass logic (in line with my intellectual l level): Why was that character still in this country??? 1. He tried to leave but we stopped him. Yay! 2. His character was so questionable, there should be basic ‘residency revoked’ clauses that cover that sort of thing. There aren’t.
    I just don’t get it.

  7. What is clear is that not one more cent should be spent on all these BS “processes”. We do not have to have these people in our country. The way he behaved since arriving in 2011 on a dodgy student visa cancels out any so-called “rights”. And pushing all the mental health buttons shouldn’t be allowed either.

    • RosieLee, saveNZ
      Who is directing our immigration process quietly in the background??? Is it the UN telling us who we should or should not accept? Or are we choosing them according to what looks best to some? When it should simply be ‘what suits the country best’! Would that deceased character, or that ISIS bride or that Czech drug smuggler be acceptable if the criteria was simply: “Is this person suited to being a NZ citizen?” It appears immigration NZ tick YES on all counts with people like that – so now you see how fucked the whole thing is! We should have the powers to say “NO – and no arguments with the decision will be entered into”. Do people not have to sign things like: I agree to be deported when…etc etc…? Clearly not. What an opportunity for ACT or National to jump on this – a complete overall of our immigration policies with an emphasis on ‘damn hard to get it, easy to get kicked out’.

      • “Who is directing our immigration process quietly in the background??? Is it the UN telling us who we should or should not accept? Or are we choosing them according to what looks best to some?”

        There are a number of ways refugees (and their families) end up in NZ, including

        – The vast majority come under UNHCR case-referred policy (NZ has a quota, increased to 1,500 places from July 2020 but held up by Covid. In the 90’s Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea among others, then people from the Middle East with successive conflicts, groups from other hot spots like those fleeing the Croatian War of Independence 1991-95, but more recently Rohingya from Myanmar and camps outside Myanmar. Some nominate NZ but others are simply allocated NZ in the application process. Pretty sure they are given PR. Citizenship takes longer if they chose it. Since WWII New Zealand has resettled over 35,000, according to the govt website
        – asylum seekers who arrive on false documentation and claim refugee status under the 1951 Geneva Convention (Ahmed Zaoui is probably the one everyone knows of). The legal process takes a while for most.
        – family members of former refugees under the family reunification scheme
        – possibly those like the Afghan interpreters who get special treatment
        – NZ agreed to resettle some of the boat-people from Australia – not happened yet to my knowledge – but in the past resettled 131 refugees from the Tampa

        If S was a refugee it appears he was an asylum seeker (but some reports have him coming on a student visa). I really don’t know. Thing is how was he allowed to stay? Must have kept his nose clean for a bit and got approval, then the law couldn’t deport him.

  8. But it started with NZ immigration letting Sri Lankan “damaged goods” in; it seems a student visa . Given the childhood background advised by the seemingly somewhat war damaged family of the terrorist I first question who or how was he funded as a student .He should have been immediately deported at the first hint of trouble – no questions asked.

    • Yes, you really do have to wonder; if this self proclaimed intending terrorist is allowed to stay, how much more crazy do you have to actually be to be deported. Apparently he is a Tamil and made persecution claims to help ensure his continued residency. He more likely had affinity with the Tamil Tigers ethno nationalist terrorist organisation – another red flag?

    • +1 On Watch.

      Also sounds like whenever immigration NZ try to do their jobs better, the woke also rush in and get angry and destroy any practicality, such as when they tired to prioritise visas to the higher paid workers being processed first, and the woke went mad because it was so racist. (Sounds more racist to think that people of colour are not in high paid jobs, but ahhh, ok, woke’s).

  9. Police said they didn’t want to fuel the terrorist’s delusions or hurt his feelings by making it obvious they were trailing him, like some taxpayer funded cloak and dagger movie. Fuck his feelings. If we can afford to fund a surveillance unit for one person then we should make it obvious, have someone walking beside him at all times and do this also for other serious criminals walking our streets. Woke posturing to sympathise with a criminal’s inner turmoil can take a backseat to keeping the public safe.

    • Is that true Ethan? He must surely have been aware, from the court proceedings if nothing else, that he was under 24/7 surveillance. Agree with the FHF comments though.

    • Hope we are doing this Surveillance with the Gangs rather than glorifying them in the media and putting them up on pedestals for our aspiring youth ?

      • IS supporter? Good enough for instant deportation. Imagine how long a NEO-NAZI supporter would last? They’s find a way to get rid of him quick.

    • He had tried to fly to Syria to be an Isis terrorist but may be he was mad too. Nevertheless if he was not an Isis terrorist he was an Allu Ahkbar Terrorist because Allu Ahkbar is what he called out in the supermarket. He held islamist supremecist views based on the parts of the Koran which say its a duty to murder non-believers. His family thought he was mad to beleive this. You can surmise he was in trouble with the government in Sri Lanka for his views so he claimed he was a refugee in NZ. Why didnt he say go to Saudi Arabia and claim to be a refugee there? May be because there are no non-believers in Saudi.

  10. Kia ora Ross

    Prior to Friday afternoon:
    The police believed that Samsudeen might be intending to commit a terrorist act.
    Samsudeen knew he was under continual surveillance.
    The police knew that Samsudeen knew that he was being constantly monitored.

    But when Samsudeen went into the Countdown supermarket on Friday afternoon the police stopped tailing him, and he could see that he was no longer being followed.
    The police knew that at that point Samsudeen could see that he was no longer being followed.
    Therefore the police must have known that they were giving him the opportunity to launch an attack.

    Would you care to comment on that analysis of events and circumstances?

    • I have confined my assessment at of the situation to what I had been able to source to the point of pen to paper.

      I’ll leave my contribution at that.

      I’m sure the debate will widen

      Respectfully

    • I have confined my assessment of the situation to what I had been able to source to the point of pen to paper.

      I’ll leave my contribution at that.

      I’m sure the debate will widen

      Respectfully

  11. I suppose there is going to be a long list of why the PM isn’t, shouldn’t resign over this second terrorist attack I guess?

    50+ people have been murdered and injured on her watch and all we get from lamestream media and sycophants is that they did all they could do?
    What was that? Oh, protect the rights of the terrorist over and above the safety of NZders! FFS!

    NZ’ders need to stop buying into this bs. Ardern has to resign.

    • Oh FFS this is not a political issue – if you want to make it on then you need to include the behaviour of the previous Nat govt. The fault lies with the wishy washy legal system which moves at a snail’s pace under all govts. They are highly paid bureaucrats and paper shufflers, spinning out legal matters so judges and lawyers can earn heaps. Oh – and, of course it helps if the ne’er do wells push the mental health button and get a few social workers in on the act as well.

    • Oh FFS this is not a political issue – if you want to make it on then you need to include the behaviour of the previous Nat govt. The fault lies with the wishy washy legal system which moves at a snail’s pace under all govts. They are highly paid bureaucrats and paper shufflers, spinning out legal matters so judges and lawyers can earn heaps. Oh – and, of course it helps if the ne’er do wells push the mental health button and get a few social workers in on the act as well.

    • If Ardern resigned, who would take her place? Is it Labour deputy Kelvin Davis? Or deputy PM Grant Robertson? Or someone else you would find equally unqualified? Then we would need to consider a new deputy to balance the demographics. And would things be any different? Best you vote your hardest at the next election and hope for a new government.

  12. Ross, always good to get your experienced and considered view.
    As I said in a blog yesterday it appears that ‘due process’ has not served us well; but also said that
    I am sure we all expect government, courts, police, and security services to act in accordance with the law.
    If we want due process to provide good outcomes it needs to be considered and methodical; so I asked the question should the PM have powers similar, but more limited, to the USA Presidential Executive Order (maybe supervised by the GG) that would enable such situations to be dealt with until due process catches up? From your legal review it would seem such powers do not exist. My fear would be of course that such powers could easily be misused at some stage, but without them it would seem the Executive is powerless under the law to respond to such situations.

      • Thanks SAC for that idea. Maybe that would be a way to provide the necessary safeguards, but not sure if the added burden would be justified. Could the safeguards not be a lot simpler, maybe similar to the current SIS surveillance warants.

    • Peter
      NZ has a separation of powers
      Our elected representatives make the laws in Parliament.
      Those laws are implemented by government bureaucracies -IRD, police, Health Board, Education etc
      Courts job is to judge whether the bureaucracies act in accordance with the laws

      Ministers do have influence and control of how the head bureaucrat behaves.
      But there is line the Minister must not cross e.g. as we are taking about police – a Minister cannot take control of a police operation – NOR should the Minister do any more than -observe proceedings.

      Later if the Minister and therefore cabinet decide that the (above eg) police commissioner is hapless, they an replace him/her.

      For different reasons Helen Clark replaced Peter Doone.

      And, there is also the guillotine of Courts to adjudicate where eg litigation is commenced

      In my view, this system does provide for “experts in their field” be it Chief of Military of Reserve Bank, to apply their best endeavors

      The option of having an MP come Minister taking command of our monetary policy or a police operation – ?

      With due respect to former MP colleagues and incumbents; in my view, too many MPs are grossly under skilled, poorly educated in life and academia, and in too many cases border on being – dare i say it – too stupid to take command of bureaucracies where others have made it the life career.

      MPs come and go and in my assessment, cabinet rank is more to do with inter house support for someone who is prime minister, than it has to do with ability. If I am correct, it would be a bad idea to change our system so these temporary occupiers of a seat in Parliament, might take command

      • Many thanks Ross. I totally see your point. I guess my concern is that many are saying the PM should just have got rid of the person regardless of what powers were available; I would find such a course of action very concerning.
        I also think many of us are quite unaware of many of the dangers we are surrounded with every day – similar events are faced by dairy owners on regular occasions but we don’t see anything like the same public/media pressure on politicians to fix the problem.

      • Ross
        Grossly underskilled? You mean like someone like Pototato Williams our esteemed Minister for Building and Construction, and your personal favourite, Minister of Police. Hmm let’s see….Professional career: Williams has worked for the Ministry of Education, BirthRight, Healthcare NZ and disability agencies. She moved to Christchurch in January 2013 to take up a position as regional manager of the St John of God Hauora Trust. There you go folks, no wonder she is Minister for Building and Construction, and Police. Amazing isn’t it!

        • The Kraut

          Mr Kraut

          I have no gripe with Williams.

          I do not see her interfering in police operations.

          And by her CV she appears to avoid my
          “Description” of some MPs

  13. The tenth commandment from the book of Exodus along with the sermon on the Mount hold us accountable for our thoughts but that is by God who is all knowing, while it appears to be obvious from the information available regarding this man that better preventative actions should have been made we need to be careful about advocacy for laws based on what others claim people are thinking

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