Two victims of Asha Ali Abdille’s plane hijacking in 2008 are thinking of claiming some of her $25,000 compensation award, rather than let it go to Abdille.
One victim from the hijacked flight between Blenheim and Christchurch said she thought the victims as a group could claim it and give it to a charity that helped refugees, like Abdille, or displaced people.
She would be interested to know why Abdille was awarded the money, compensation for some breach of her rights during her time in the criminal justice or corrections systems. Authorities have refused to release details, on privacy grounds.
The woman said Abdille might be entitled to the money, depending on what she got it for.
She still wanted to know if the others were making claims against the money, and whether they wanted to do a group claim.
I am not making a claim because I want the money, but I would like to see some good come of this and that it go to charity,” she said.
Authorities should have contacted victims to let them know that Abdille had been awarded compensation and that victims could claim it, she said. Victims of any of Abdille’s crimes have until March 2018 to make claims.
A man who had been on the plane, said he was not much interested in what the money was for, but he did not want Abdille to profit from her crimes.
Both victims said they still thought of the day in February 2008 when Abdille tried to hijack the 19-seater plane, injuring the two pilots with a knife. One of the pilots received a serious hand injury.
The woman who contacted Stuff after the compensation award was revealed on October 18, received a minor injury when she tried to reason with Abdille, before she knew that Abdille had knives.
Somali refugee Asha Abdille wanted to reunite her large family in New Zealand. (File photo)
She was not fearful about the incident now but did still reflect on it.
“Any time I fly or see a woman dressed Somali-style I think of it.”
At first it had just been bizarre but then it got very frightening, she said.
The man, a New Zealander who has lived in Victoria, Australia, for many years, said when he read on Stuff about the compensation awarded to Abdille he looked through clippings he had about the case.
“It still lives with you.”
It was not a heinously terrible thing that bothered him now, but he had a slight fear of flying afterwards and “got a bit paranoid” about airport security at a time when he was often flying internationally for his work.
“It was frightening at the time, but it was unsuccessful. The pilots did a good job, they maintained their composure. She stood there and ranted and raved, it was pretty frightening for them and for us.”
“When we landed the SAS did a good job putting their dogs on board and getting us off the plane, but by that time she had succumbed and was just standing there blithering.”
Asha Ali Abdille’s nine-year jail term expired in February. She served the full term. Her release conditions included not being allowed to enter any airport or travel on any plane.