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Notice given 22 March 2006

1641  Senator Ludwig: To ask the Minister for Justice and Customs—With reference to the article ‘Australians chased by anti-Mafia investigators’, in the Age of 22 March 2006, that four Australians are allegedly under investigation by Italian authorities for organised crime-related activities:

(1) Has that matter been referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP); if so: (a) by whom or by which agency was it referred to the CDPP and on what date was it referred; (b) what is the current status of the brief; and (c) was it returned on the basis of insufficient evidence and the case closed; if not, on what basis was prosecution of the case rejected.

(2) Regarding the offer of an Italian ‘undercover operative’ to testify in Australia, was the testimony a part of the abovementioned brief; if not: (a) why not; (b) did the CDPP assess this testimony separately; and (c) why was the offer of an Italian operative to testify in Australia rejected.