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Burke refutes claims that false travel documents were not issued.



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MEDIA RELEASE TONY BURKE MP

Member for Watson Shadow Minister for Immigration

13 September 2005

BURKE REFUTES CLAIMS THAT FALSE TRAVEL DOCUMENTS WERE NOT ISSUED

Shadow Minister for Immigration Tony Burke has refuted claims from Senator Vanstone that her department did not request false travel documents from DFAT.

“Senator Vanstone’s statement is completely inconsistent with claims from DFAT,” said Mr Burke.

“After issuing travel documents under false names, DFAT demanded that those travel documents be returned and cancelled.

“Senator Vanstone’s statement ignores the fact that in Serbia birth certificates have recent photographs attached to them. Those birth certificates show the true identity of the Kolas.

“The Department of Immigration went all the way to the Federal Court acknowledging the individuals concerned were Mr and Mrs Kola.

“It was only after the attempts at deportation failed that the Department of Immigration asked DFAT to produce the identity documents under different names.

“Amanda Vanstone needs to answer the question: under what names are Mr and Mrs Kola currently being processed?

“Senator Vanstone’s statement reeks of the culture of denial that she claims she is capable of fixing.”

Media Contact: Maria Iannotti 0408 274 696 or (02) 9554 3808