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Australia's law enforcement agencies under question in wake of Gillespie matter



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M E D IA R ELEA SE Jflt!FT S E N A T O R ROBERT H ILL LEADER O F T H E OPPOSITION IN TH E SENATE SHADOW M IN IST E R FO R FOREIGN A FFA IR S

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Monday, July 27 66/92

AUSTRALIA'S LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES UNDER QUESTION IN WAKE OF GILLESPIE MATTER

The removal by the Malaysian prince, Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah, to Malaysia of two Australian children who are Australian

citizens and contrary to an order of the Australian Family Court reflected poorly on the capacity of Australia's law enforcement agencies to enforce the law and protect the rights of Australian citizens, Senator Robert Hill, Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, said today.

"The fact that a person can enter Australia, flout our laws, and flee without detection is a matter of great concern", Senator Hill said.

Senator Hill said this was particularly so when the Federal Police had been consistently reported as saying that they

believed the Gillespie children were still in Australia.

"Only days ago the Government was saying that "considerable" resources had been deployed to find the Gillespie children and that it had been informed by the Federal Police that they

believed the children and the Prince were still in Australia. Yet over the weekend Raja Kamarul Bahrain and the Gillespie children "popped up" in Malaysia", Senator Hill said.

The Government should disclose exactly what resources were devoted to the search for the children and explain how the Prince and the children were able to leave Australia undetected".

"This episode reflects poorly on Australia's ability to uphold the law and protect the rights of Australian citizens", Senator Hill said.

"It also sends the wrong signals to those who may be

contemplating similar, if not more serious, transgressions of Australian law".

Senator Hill said the failure by Australia's law enforcement agencies to locate the Gillespie children now meant the matter was much more difficult.

"The Government should enquire how and why the Prince and the Gillespie children could leave our shores undetected and explain the actions of the Federal Police and customs authorities

accordingly".

(ends) Enquiries: Nigel Henham (06) 277 3170 COMMONWEALTH

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