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Tuesday, 16 November 2004
Page: 122

Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 4 August 2004:

(1) Did the Australian Consular Office in San Francisco, United States of America (US), receive in May 2004 a request for assistance from Mr Terence J Gaynon.

(2) Did Mr Gaynon allege that he had been mistreated by officers of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the US Department of Justice, or by prison officers in the San Mateo Jail or the Los Angeles County Jail.

(3) Given the undertaking on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's website that Australian consular officials `can provide assistance to you if you are arrested, notify next of kin, provide a list of local lawyers, conduct prison visits, and ensure an Australian receives the same treatment as could reasonably be expected by the host country's own citizens', did Consular officials investigate whether Mr Gaynon had been improperly treated while in custody in the US; if so, what was the result of this investigation.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) First contact was through my Department's 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra which tasked the Australian Consulate in Los Angeles to assist Mr Gaynon.

(2) No.

(3) Consular officials provided considerable assistance to Mr Gaynon. However, this did not extend to investigating claims of improper treatment as these were not raised with my Department or the Consulate-General.