Unsafe to release

Stuff reports:

The country’s only convicted plane hijacker has almost completed her prison sentence and is threatening to hijack another aircraft if she gets the chance.

Asha Abdille stabbed both pilots on an Air New Zealand flight from Blenheim to Christchurch in February 2008. One passenger was injured in the incident.

The Somali refugee took knives onto the 19-seater plane, which was forced to make an emergency landing.

Abdille was sentenced to nine years in prison, and her sentence expires on February 7.

She is currently held in a psychiatric unit in the Wellington region, but refused to attend her final Parole Board hearing in early December.

A written summary of the hearing, obtained by RNZ, said Abdille was still classified as high risk and has “said that she will attempt to hijack another plane and has threatened to set herself on fire”.

The decision noted no reintegration plan has been developed for the 42-year-old by the unidentified hospital she was held in. But it said “work is being undertaken by the hospital together with the [Corrections] Department about the best way of managing Ms Abdille in the future”.

The Parole Board went on to say hospital staff have “ongoing concerns about potential risky behaviour in the community on any release”. A 2014 report said Abdille had agreed to trial an antipsychotic medication, Clozapine.

It is understood Abdille, who is currently regarded as a special patient, will transfer into the mental health system on a compulsory treatment order (CTO) when her sentence ends next month.

That seems like the only safe outcome.

Comments (117)

Login to comment or vote