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Indonesia: Suharto family assets in Australia.

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Indonesia: Suharto Family Assets In Australia Laurie Brereton - Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs

Media Statement - 8 May 2000

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton, today called on the Howard Government to make public what action it has taken to assist Indonesian authorities tracking down properties and other assets held in Australia by Suharto family members and associates.

"The announcement by the New Zealand Government last Friday that it is sending information about former Suharto family assets in New Zealand to the Indonesian Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman raises the question of what measures the Australian Government is taking to assist Indonesian authorities to track down Suharto family assets in Australia."

"Although the known Suharto family holdings in New Zealand are small relative to the total assets accumulated by family members and cronies, New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff's initiative is a welcome contribution to President Abdurrahman Wahid's efforts to deal with the issue of corruption."

"The Howard Government should similarly forthcoming in providing relevant information to the Indonesian authorities, thereby enabling the Indonesian Attorney General to decide whether to formally request further assistance from Australia."

"The Indonesian Attorney General's Office has indicated that investigators are compiling a listing of Suharto family assets with a view to seizure in the near future. The Australian Government should be prepared to lend all appropriate support to assist the identification of assets currently or formerly held in Australia."

"Support for human rights and democratic processes is essential if Australia is to build a new relationship with the new democratic Indonesia. Actively helping Indonesian deal with the legacy of Suharto-era corruption is an essential part of this process."

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.