Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The whitewash becomes a farce

The government's Operation Burnham whitewash has become a farce, with the SAS's victims refusing to participate any further:

Afghani villagers are turning their backs on a Government inquiry into allegations six civilians were killed and a further 15 injured in a botched New Zealand SAS raid.

Human rights lawyer Rodney Harrison QC said the villagers did not want to take any further part in the inquiry.

Harrison told a press conference on Tuesday the villagers were "completely disillusioned" by the process that has heard the vast majority of evidence behind closed doors.


Harrison said a key reason the villagers wanted to pull out was the inquiry's decision to hear evidence without them or their lawyers being present.

I don't blame them. With secret "evidence", an initial refusal to even hear from the the victims, and an ongoing refusal to allow them to participate as anything other than show-ponies, the "inquiry" was very obviously shaping up to be a whitewash aimed at publicly exonerating NZDF and defending their reputation. Continued participation simply lends credibility to this abusive process. Better to walk away and pursue justice through the courts than have anything to do with it.

Meanwhile, the public should be asking what the point of an "inquiry" which refuses to hear from victims is, and what is wrong with our political and judicial establishment that they think that that is acceptable, useful, or remotely credible.