Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Report on the operation of the war crimes act 1945 to june 1990



Download PDFDownload PDF

P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA. A.C.T. 2600 TEL. (0 6 ) 2 7 7 4 0 2 8 , 2 7 7 4 4 1 9 FAX. (0 6 ) 277 4 9 9 0

M EM BER FOR KOOYONG SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL SHADOW M INISTER FOR JUSTICE

HON. ANDREW PEACOCK. M.P.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENT OFFICES 4 0 0 FLINDERS STREET MELBOURNE, VIC. 3000 TEL. (0 3 ) 629 2521

PRESS RELEASE BY HON ANDREW PEACOCK, HP SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

REPORT ON THE OPERATION OF THE WAR CRIMES ACT 1945 TO JUNE 1990

Some eleven months after the end of the financial year for 1989­ 90, Parliament has been presented with a report from the Special Investigations Unit consisting of a mere thirteen pages.

The Unit, which has responsibility for investigating allegations of serious war crimes, has expended $7,512,410.76 in the period May 1987 to the end of June 1990. For the year 1989-90 the Unit expended $3,798,539.00 of public monies and employed 51 staff.

In addition, significant sums of public monies have been expended in the form of legal aid, prosecution costs, and in the adminis­ tration of the Courts.

The net result is that charges have been laid against one person. The prosecution proceedings have been stayed pending the outcome of the defendant's Constitutional challenge in the High Court. Furthermore, doubts arise as to whether the prosecution will ever recommence given that the fitness of the defendant to be tried has been raised.

The track record of the Unit is somewhat akin to an episode of "Yes Minister" where Sir Humphrey Appleby boasted of the

efficiency of a hospital that had no patients.

When the Unit presented its 1989 annual report in mid 1990 I was compelled to seek further details by way of a series of questions the notice paper. It would seem that I will have to go through the same exercise in relation to the 1990 annual report.

It falls upon the Unit, and the Government, to give a proper detailed explanation of the expenditure that has been incurred in the investigation and prosecution of alleged war crimes. The report is wholly inadequate and the taxpayer deserves better

accountability. Put simply, today's report is a disgrace.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H

CANBERRA 7 MAY 1991

Enquiries to Sturt Glacken (06) 277 4028