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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 81

(Question No. 4844)


Mr Coleman asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 23 October 1986:

How many prosecutions have been initiated under the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act since it was proclaimed.


Mr Lionel Bowen —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

Since proclamation 31 persons have been charged under various provisions of the Act in 6 separate incidents with the following results:

(1) Of 19 persons charged with offences under section 7 of the Act in relation to an assembly at Eden in NSW, 13 were committed for trial. One person was convicted, 9 persons were acquitted, and a nolle prosequi was entered in respect of the remaining 3 persons when the jury was unable to agree upon a verdict.

(2) Of 3 persons charged with offences under paragraph 7 (1) (a) of the Act in relation to plans for the overthrow of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, all were committed for trial but a nolle prosequi was entered subsequently because of a lack of evidence.

(3) Of 3 other persons charged with offences under paragraph 7 (1) (f) of the Act in relation to the same plans for the overthrow of the Federal Islamic Republic of Comoros, all were subsequently convicted.

(4) One person was charged with offences under paragraph 7 (1) (e) of the Act in relation to the sending of arms to the UK for use in Northern Ireland. For technical legal reasons, there was insufficient evidence for the charge to be made out, and the Attorney-General declined to consent to the prosecution of the person, who was subsequently convicted under the Customs Act for smuggling offences.

(5) One person was charged with offences under paragraphs 7 (1) (e) and 9 (1) (a) of the Act in relation to an attempt to recruit mercenaries in Australia to lead PNG guerillas against the Indonesian Government in Irian Jaya. The matter is still pending.

(6) Of 4 persons charged with offences under section 6 of the Act in relation to an attempt to smuggle arms to white settlers in New Caledonia for use against pro-independence Kanaks, the DPP declined to recommend that the Attorney-General consent to the prosecution of the 4 persons. It was considered unlikely that suitable evidence could be obtained to sustain the charge.