Labor thought it could prevent release of 92 indefinite detainees by freeing one rapist, documents suggest

Exclusive: Despite confidence it would win landmark case, government considered ministerial intervention to free man who raped 10-year-old boy in order to stop mass release

The government considered releasing the man who sparked the landmark ruling on indefinite detention – even though he raped a 10-year-old boy – in a bid to stave off the high court challenge that led to the release of 92 others.

According to documents published by the high court, on 26 May an assistant secretary in the home affairs department wrote to the offices of both ministers responsible in an email titled “NZYQ v Minister … indefinite detention / Al Kateb challenge … proposal to reconsider exercising ministerial intervention powers under the Act in light of litigation risk”.

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