"National’s Police spokesman, Tony Ryall, is calling for an end to one of the fundamental cornerstones of our justice system," notes a disgusted Libertarianz spokesman Stephen Berry, "simply as another weapon in the failed and corrupt War on Drugs(TM)." Berry continues, "Vile Ryall’ is suffering from ‘P madness.’ He is willing to trade away our fundamental legal protections simply to make life harder for those suspected of methamphetamine manufacture or supply. It’s either a panic or a chase for headlines."
Ryall has even called for an end to the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, for harsher treatment of convicted drug dealers, and a greater commitment to the confiscation of their assets. Berry responds, "The problem with the vile Ryall law would be that police no longer have to prove that drug dealers’ assets are the result of illegal proceeds, nor that the proceeds specifically relate to the dealer’s conviction. National would immediately reverse the existing onus of proof – you would now be required to prove your own innocence to the state. If a convicted drug dealer can’t prove that assets were legally obtained, those assets would be seized."
Berry says, "Mr. Ryall has allowed his hatred of drugs to cloud his rational faculty. He is actually proposing that because you have supplied a substance to a willing buyer, that the state be allowed to march in and take any of your assets unless you can prove those assets were not obtained through the proceeds of your ‘crime.’"
"Aside from the fact that people willingly trading a value for a value – in this case methamphetamine for money – are not actual criminals and deserve no persecution, Mr. Ryall’s proposal has huge potential for abuse," Berry explains.
Tony Ryall would appear to be a big admirer of Western Australia’s asset confiscation laws. They allow the police to challenge "unexplained wealth" even without obtaining a conviction. Berry says, "Such a power should be feared rather than aspired to. Mr. Ryall, in the confines of his parliamentary ivory tower, will never have to deal with the consequences of giving police such a free hand and New Zealanders will be given another reason to fear the expanding state we’re forced to fund."
* More Freedom * Less Government *