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Stonewalling claims on US murder investigatio -

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ELEANOR HALL: It's a murder case that's still arouses international debate even though Gabe Watson
is now behind bars after being convicted of killing his wife during their honeymoon on the Great
Barrier Reef.

The US citizen was found guilty of manslaughter in a Queensland court last year but US officials
are still considering charging him with first degree murder. To do that they need evidence from
Australia and US prosecutors, and the dead woman's family, say they're frustrated with the lack of
cooperation from Down Under.

In Brisbane, Nicole Butler reports.

NICOLE BUTLER: Tina and Gabe Watson had been married for just 11 days when tragedy struck. The
American honeymooners had been diving off the Great Barrier Reef in 2003 when 26-year-old Tina sank
to the bottom of the ocean and drowned. Gabe Watson was a qualified rescue diver - yet he couldn't
save his bride and the bubble wrap salesman immediately became a suspect.

For years he denied any involvement then last year Watson pleaded guilty pleaded when the murder
charges were downgraded to manslaughter. A Queensland court sentenced him to 18 months jail - a
sentence which has been widely attacked as being too lenient and the US officials want to take the
matter further.

The Alabama Attorney General is considering bringing first degree murder charges against Gabe
Watson - a move strongly supported by Tina Watson's grieving father - Tommy Thomas.

TOMMY THOMAS: I believe that had this gone to trial before a jury in Australia, we would have
gotten the justice that Tina deserved but since it did not go before trial, since he did not have
to face the evidence, since he did not have to face his own contradictory statements to police and
in his civil disposition and to others, they were able to cut a deal and now the only way to get
justice is to try to have that same trial before a jury here.

NICOLE BUTLER: To even consider a murder charge US officials need evidence and information from the
Watson investigation carried out in Australia. It is reported the Alabama Attorney General Troy
King has recently sent a second round of letters to Queensland justice officials requesting that.

Mr Thomas says the Queensland Government and police are stonewalling the US investigation.

TOMMY THOMAS: They basically, I think, a few months back had acknowledged to the Attorney General's
office that they had received their request and that was about it.

Right after the news story a couple of weeks ago, there was another acknowledgement saying that it
was complicated and that they needed to really explore how they should handle this and that's
something that I really don't understand because the fact of the matter is that during the
investigation the Helena Police Department here as well as the FBI here cooperated with the
Queensland Police Service when requests were sent over through Interpol.

Now all of a sudden someone and I don't remember exactly whether it was the Queensland Police
Service's statement or whether it was the DPP or the Attorney General's office or what that made a
comment about it being a federal issue.

Well, why all of a sudden is it a federal issue when all we want them to do is send some of that
same evidence back that was sent over there.

NICOLE BUTLER: The 53-year-old says under US law Gabe Watson can face trial in Alabama even though
the death happened in Australia - and the case has already been prosecuted here.

TROY KING: It is because several pieces of the evidence give a clear indication that this crime was
probably planned in Alabama before he ever came to Australia.

I know there is a lot of discussion about double jeopardy. Well, there is really no double jeopardy
involved because first of all he wasn't tried for murder in Australia to begin with but secondly,
this is a separate sovereign jurisdiction so there is no double jeopardy that would come into play.

NICOLE BUTLER: The Queensland Attorney General has declined to comment on claims his office isn't
cooperating with US officials on the Watson murder investigation. A spokesman for Cameron Dick says
it's a complicated case and the Minister is awaiting legal advice.

The Queensland Police Service gave a similar response. A spokeswoman says there are a range of
complex legal considerations when providing investigative assistance to other nations. She says
these are presently being explored within the context of the Alabama authorities' request.

ELEANOR HALL: Nicole Butler reporting.