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Whitlam ordered to give evidence at Balibo in -

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Whitlam ordered to give evidence at Balibo inquest

Broadcast: 03/05/2007

Reporter: Jane Margetts

Former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and former Defence Minister Bill Morrison will be compelled to
give evidence at the inquest into the deaths of five Australian journalists killed in East Timor 32
years ago.

Transcript

LISA MILLAR: The former Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, will be compelled to give evidence at the
inquest into the deaths of five Australian journalists killed in East Timor 32 years ago. The
coroner has ordered him to appear next Tuesday, along with his former defence minister, Bill
Morrison, and the head of the Prime Minister's department at the time, John Menadue. Jayne Margetts
reports.

JAYNE MARGETTS, REPORTER: Gough Whitlam, now 90, will be questioned for the first time in public
about what he knew about the deaths of the Balibo five. He's already said in a written statement he
didn't know the men had been shot until five days after it happened. The coroner told the court:

I doubt there is anything further he could add to that. Nevertheless I don't want it perceived the
we have not canvassed...the matters on which he may be able to give evidence. (DORELLE PINCH,
DEPUTY STATE CORONER).

The inquest has previously heard that the Whitlam Government knew the men had been deliberately
killed by Indonesian forces. Today a former naval radio operator said she saw intelligence about
the men's deaths.

It caused a bit of angst. It had to get to the Prime Minister's department very quickly. (SUSAN
AHMAT, WITNESS)

Also today, retired intelligence analyst Kevin Lunny told the inquest a blue book with information
about the deaths of the journalists was locked in a safe in his office. He was told by a colleague:

The safe held extremely sensitive documents that could possibly bring down the government. (KEVIN
LUNNY, WITNESS)

Counsel assisting the coroner said he'd seen a blue book and it only contained a footnote about the
deaths of the five journalists. When the so called blue book was shown to Mr Lunny, he said he
didn't think it was the one he'd seen in 1978. He said it was neater and appeared to contain less
information. Mr Lunny admitted it was hard for him to remember exactly what he saw at the time
because of the intense media coverage over the past 30 years. Jayne Margetts, Lateline.