Behind The Shroud – the true story of why Ahmed Zaoui was set free
The complete inside story on why the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service got this case so wrong.
Behind The Shroud examines the Ahmed Zaoui case. It analyses why after years of the New Zealand Government stating Mr Zaoui to be a risk to the nation’s security, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security, Justice Paul Neazor, found in Zaoui’s favour and set him free. This documentary unearths information that has been cloaked in secrecy. It takes the viewer on a journey into that shadowy world of spies and espionage, and resolves the mystery of the Zaoui case through interviews with key players in the great game, including two secret witnesses who each testified at the Inspector General’s hearings in Auckland, New Zealand.
Ahmed Zaoui successfully stood as a candidate for the Islamic Salvation Front (Front Islamique du Salut or FIS) in the Algerian 1991 general election. After Algeria’s military overturned the elections, a civil war ensued. By 1993, Zaoui fled to Europe. The Military-led Regime tried and convicted him in absentia and sentenced him to death for allegedly “establishing a terrorist organisation to destabilise state institutions and terrorise the population… inciting armed rebellion and assassinations.”
Behind The Shroud investigates: what was found to be an Algerian intelligence service black-flag operation against Zaoui. It reveals new testimony, and concludes with a thought provoking critique of New Zealand’s intelligence apparatus and paves the way for a debate into how western nations can learn from their external assessment failures to ensure they are not used as instruments of third party oppressive regimes.
This documentary features: Two secret witnesses Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed Samraoui – Algeria’s former head of intelligence and counter-espionage for north Europe; Prof. George Joffe – UK’s authority on north Africa affairs; Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Wilkie – former security intelligence advisor to the Australian prime minister; Dr Paul Buchanan – former US Pentagon security analyst; the late Graeme Hunt – historian and politics commentator; Gerry Cunneen – former New Zealand Police intelligence unit head; Hon Matt Robson – former New Zealand Associate Minister of Foreign Affairs; Keith Locke – former New Zealand Green Party Member of Parliament.
Behind The Shroud includes: interviews with Ahmed Zaoui; and previously unreleased information and footage of the Ahmed Zaoui defence team – Dr Rodney Harrison, Deborah Manning, Richard McLeod – people who took on the establishment and won.