A sad case

The Herald reports:

A Somali woman convicted of trying to hijack a flight from Blenheim to Christchurch six years ago claims police told her she would be taken to the United States and shot if she did not admit it. …

She had already been in custody for 2-1/2 years when sentenced and today told the Court of Appeal, through an interpreter, that she pleaded guilty after police pressure.

“… they said unless you say that I hijack plane, we will take you to America and you will be shot. Executed,” she said.

“I (did) not hijack the plane. The police asked me to say that.”

Yes they execute people in the US for hijacking a small place in New Zealand. We have a secret treaty with them, so we don’t have to executive our own hijackers.

Abdille, who today represented herself after firing trial lawyer Elizabeth Bulger

Always a warning sign, generally of madness.

went on to claim there was a conspiracy between Immigration and the police; she had come to New Zealand in 1994 believing the Government was “giving us a land and helping us”.

“But there was politics behind that and the Government wanted us to be mistresses for the white man,” Abdille said.

Young women were made to have babies they did not want, and Abdille claimed police persecuted her when she fought against it.

“I said we should all come together as a community … because I was against white men using us and having sex with us.

In this case, she does seem to be quite literally mad. It’s actually quite sad, but her illness has made her quite dangerous.

Abdille claimed the knives she was carrying on the fateful flight were simply cutlery she was taking to her sister, who was trying to set up house in Christchurch. She also had forks and plates, and the pilot had inspected her luggage, she said.

However, she claimed the pilot had kept looking at her and she saw in him a resemblance to a man who had used her as a “sexual slave”. She believed it to be that man, and that he was going to take her to an island and imprison her.

Abdille has a background of mental health issues and sentencing judge Justice Christine French had taken that into account when sentencing her.

She probably does genuinely believe that.

Abdille had 27 previous convictions and was on bail for threatening to kill and possession of a weapon at the time of the hijacking.

The captain, first officer and a woman passenger were all cut during the incident; the captain had to have part of a thumb amputated and the first officer received a cut foot. One of the two had since given up flying.

Some passengers believed they were going to die during the incident, and did not want to give victim impact statements as they did not want to relive the incident.

I do wonder if she doesn’t meet the threshold of compulsory treatment and incarceration? There seems to be a serious detachment from reality. Also I wonder if she would not be better receiving treatment than in prison. But I guess, she was judged still capable of knowing right from wrong.

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