Peters launches attack against 'bigamist' Kiwi jihadi

Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 5 March 2019, 1:48PM
The Deputy Prime Minister says he has no sympathy for Mark Taylor. (Photo / Getty)
The Deputy Prime Minister says he has no sympathy for Mark Taylor. (Photo / Getty)

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has struck a slightly less diplomatic tone than the Prime Minister over the fate of Kiwi jihadi Mark Taylor, who is being held in a Syrian prison.

Speaking to the Herald this morning, Peters – who is also the Deputy Prime Minister – said he had no sympathy for Taylor.

"For the simple reason he didn't give a rats about the people of this country or our rights and freedoms."

He said it might be a topic of interest for the New Zealand media, but 99.99 per cent of New Zealanders "couldn't give a rat's derriere about him [Taylor] deserting his country, threatening western civilisation and the freedom of democracy and human rights altogether, plus being a bigamist".

He said there was 1000 problems New Zealand had to worry about which were more important that Taylor's demise.

Taylor, a former New Zealand soldier who has New Zealand citizenship only, has surrendered to Kurdish forces because life under Isis had become unbearable.

According to ABC, he is being held in a Syrian prison.

Mark Taylor aka Mohammad Daniel aka Abu Abdul Rahman. Photo / File

This morning, Ardern said the Government would be making no attempts to get him out of jail.

Asked why, she told media that the Government had given "clear advice not to travel there and I won't put New Zealanders in harm's way when someone ignores that advice".

He would have to make his way to a New Zealand consulate office to obtain a travel document, and the nearest one is in Turkey.

Earlier in the morning, when asked about her personal view of Taylor's situation, Ardern told the AM Show: "people will probably pick a lot up in my tone".

Peters would not answer questions as to whether he thought Taylor should stay in the Syrian jail.

National leader Simon Bridges said: "We don't want him back".

"It's not our responsibility to bail out a terrorist."

He said the Government had taken the right approach to the situation.

"The law is the law and the legal conventions around these things are there. He's just not the kind of person that we want back."

He said the financial burden of Taylor going through the New Zealand legal system, then being placed in a New Zealand jail, was not something most Kiwis would want.

"If he can stay over there [Syria] and be other people's issue, I think that's what New Zealanders would want."


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