Faroz ALI - 08/11/2019
Under section 21(1) of the Parole Act 2002
Hearing: 8 November 2019
at Waikeria Prison by AVL from Rimutaka Upper Prison
Members of the Board:
- Mr N Trendle (Panel Convenor)
- Ms S Driver
- Mr A Hackney
- Mr S Lawrey
- Mr N Puri - Interpreter
DECISION OF THE BOARD
- Faroz Ali is serving a sentence of nine years six months’ imprisonment for aiding and abetting people trafficking. He becomes eligible for parole on 15 November 2019 and his statutory release date is 14 March 2026.
- This is Mr Ali’s first term of imprisonment and his first recorded offending. His RoC*Rol is .23359.
- Mr Ali was represented by his counsel, Mr Lawrey, who made submissions in support of his release on parole. Mr Lawrey acknowledged the length of time remaining on Mr Ali’s sentence but emphasised his positive work effort while in prison. He completed the programmes on his sentence plan. He has been working on a trusted position for some time. He holds a minimum-security classification and there have been no issues with his conduct or compliance in prison throughout his sentence. He referred to the support available to Mr Ali in the community, and submitted that although release-to-work was the next step in his progression through the prison environment ,he had a strong work ethic established in prison and a history of employment prior to sentencing. It was not a necessary step in his case.
- The Board explored at some length with Mr Ali his involvement in what the sentencing judge described as extortionate behaviour towards vulnerable victims. Mr Ali said that he initially did not think of what he was doing was exploitative. He preferred to think that he was helping people from Fiji. He is clear, now, that having been exposed to the trial that brought him to prison and more particularly to the Medium Intensity Rehabilitation Programme which he completed in November last year, that what he did was morally wrong and criminal. Now that he is able to look at the wider picture he is clear that what he did was wrong, and he will have no part in that sort of activity. He explained the background to his work with his partner and her sister in Fiji and with the other New Zealand contact, Mr Kurisi, who was a co-offender. The culpability of the first two is yet to be considered by the court.
- Upon release, Mr Ali is proposing to live with [withheld]. Mr Ali comes from a large family, most of whom are resident in Fiji but he has not returned there for many years. He has the offer of work with [withheld] as a taxi driver although, as Mr Ali conceded, he needs to renew his taxi licence and it is by no means certain that he would meet the tests required.
- Mr Ali’s offending was very serious and he has acknowledged the comments made by the sentencing judge with respect to the nature of what he did. He is, however, committed to complying with the laws of New Zealand in the future. Those laws also require us to direct his release from prison once we are satisfied that his release would not expose the community or anyone in it to undue risk. After considering the material before us, and the submissions made by his counsel, Mr Lawrey, we reach that threshold. Accordingly, we direct his release on parole on 25 November 2019. Thereafter, for a period of two years, Mr Ali will be subject to standard conditions and the special conditions set out below.
- We have added a condition that Mr Ali is to participate in a reintegration meeting where he will present his safety plan to his supporters. Mr Lawrey noted that meeting had not occurred in prison, but he had, through family visits, explained much of his sentence plan. We are of the view that a formal meeting convened by his probation officer is necessary in the circumstances so that his support network is fully informed of all aspects of his offending and how to assist him not to return to that offending pathway.
- Release accordingly. Special conditions as follows:
(1) Not to engage in any employment or have any role in the affairs of any business, trust, company or other entity, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(2) Not to have any contact or otherwise associate, with any victim of your offending, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(3) To obtain the written approval of a Probation Officer before starting or changing your position and/or place of employment (including voluntary and unpaid work). To notify a Probation Officer if you leave your position of employment.
(4) To reside at [withheld] or any other address approved in writing by a Probation Officer, and not move from that address unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(5) To attend an assessment for a departmental maintenance group, and attend, participate in and adhere to the rules of the maintenance group as directed by a Probation Officer.
(6) Not to communicate or associate with Jafar Kurisi, Geet Chandra, or Sanjana Ram, directly or indirectly, unless you have the prior written approval of a Probation Officer.
(7) To attend a reintegration meeting as directed by a Probation Officer.
Mr N Trendle