Back in December 2002, when Ahmed Zaoui arrived in New Zealand, the police thought they'd found someone "big" on the international terrorist scene. So, when Zaoui was being held at the Papakura police cells while they debated what exactly to do with him, they put an "undercover operative" in his cell. Who asked him where Osama bin Laden was. By playing charades:
Manning said Zaoui realised the man was an undercover agent. "He was only let out of his cell into the day room a few times and this guy was always there asking bizarre questions."
Zaoui told the Star-Times he thought the man's activities were strange. When asked where Bin Laden was, he had replied "in Afghanistan". The agent could speak only English - which Zaoui could barely understand - so communicated some questions with charades.
It would be comical, except for the fact that Zaoui was subsequently subjected to solitary confinement for 10 months on the basis of the resulting threat assessment. I'm just wondering if the above was used as the basis for a claim that he "knew the location of Osama bin Laden". The Americans certainly would have.
(Oh, and in case anyone has forgotten, that threat assessment also used information sourced from an internet conspiracy website run by Lyndon LaRouche - so much for "police intelligence". OTOH, the SIS "evidence" wasn't much better).
Is it really too much to ask that our police behave like a professional force, rather than a bunch of bumbling professional hicks?