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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 125

(Question No. 759)

Senator Vigor asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 6 December 1985:

(1) When was Dr Xavier Maniguet notified that the Australian Federal Police wished to interview him in Sydney, and how much notice was he given of the time of interview or of the matters of interest to the Australian Federal Police.

(2) Which people other than members of the Australian Federal Police were present during the questioning in Sydney of Dr Xavier Maniguet, and for what periods of time.

(3) If people other than French consular officials were present, in what capacity were they acting, and have steps been taken to ascertain whether such people are employees of the French defence services, or otherwise closely connected with those services; if so what facts have emerged in that regard.

(4) For what period of time was Dr Xavier Maniguet questioned, and over what matters did the questioning range.

(5) Did Dr Maniguet at any point demand either to be charged or to be released.

(6) Who made the decision that Dr Maniguet be allowed to leave.

(7) Was any advice sought beyond the Australian Federal Police in relation to the question of detention or release, if so, from whom was that advice sought, and when.

(8) When was the reply received and what did it say.

(9) Did Dr Maniguet subsequently seek to contact French authorities overseas before departure from Australia, and was he accompanied to the airport by any people when he was leaving.

(10) When did Dr Maniguet depart.

(11) Was further information about his role in the Rainbow Warrior bombing ascertained after his departure from Australia, and has any of this been forwarded to Interpol or other overseas bodies.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Special Minister of State has provided the following reply to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Dr Maniguet was notified by a New Zealand (NZ) Police Officer on the evening of 16 July 1985, that New Zealand Police wished to interview him. This was the first contact between police and Maniguet in relation to New Zealand enquiries.

(2) A New Zealand Police Officer conducted the interview of Maniguet at Australian Federal Police (AFP) Regional Headquarters in Sydney. The interview lasted about seven hours.

(3) Apart from Dr Maniguet and police officers no one else was present during the interview.

(4) See (2) above. The questions ranged over the sinking of the Ranbow Warrior, the passage of the Ouvea and other matters related to the New Zealand Police investigation.

(5) No. Dr Maniguet accompanied police voluntarily and gave a written statement.

(6) New Zealand Police.

(7) and (8) No.

(9) The AFP are not aware of any overseas contacts made by Dr Maniguet prior to his departure. After Dr Maniguet left AFP Regional Headquarters his activities were not monitored, save to confirm his departure from Australia.

(10) 3.00 pm on 17 July 1985.

(11) The AFP is unaware of any involvement.