The watchdog of New Zealand's spy agencies will investigate New Zealand intelligence agencies' role in Operation Burnham in Afghanistan, including how detainees were treated.

The events of the Operation Burnham are described in the book Hit and Run, by Nicky Hager and Jon Stephenson.

The book alleges an enemy insurgent was captured by members of the NZ Special Air Service before being beaten, then handed off to Afghani police, who then tortured the insurgent.

Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn said she would investigate "certain events in Afghanistan", in a report addressing aspects of the 2018 and 2019 work programme.

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"One inquiry will look into certain events in Afghanistan, some of which relate to the events described in Hit and Run," Gwyn said.

The report into the inquiry, which will look at possible New Zealand engagement with the CIA detention and interrogation programme of 2001-2009, will be published in the next few months.


"The inquiry is not considering the actions and conduct of the New Zealand Defence Force, although some specific events and questions of fact may be common to both my inquiry and the Government Inquiry announced by the Attorney-General on 11 April 2018."

Among other things, the inquiry would consider United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reports and how various other agencies treated detainees.