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Wednesday, 2 May 1973
Page: 1554

Mr ANTHONY (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Can the Prime Minister say, or will he find out, when the Australian Government first learned that 3 Australian citizens whom the Yugoslav Government had earlier indicated were dead, along with others, were in fact still alive? I refer to the 3 men who have since been executed. I also ask the Prime Minister: Is the reported rumour true that one man is still being held in prison or will he find out whether it is true?

Mr WHITLAM - I notice that there will be an opportunity to speak on this matter after question time. The present Government had no knowledge, other than that inherited from its predecessors, about the 3 men whom Australia acknowledged as Australian citizens who were liquidated or destroyed according to the information given to the previous Government last year. The fact that the men had been arrested, tried and executed first came to the knowledge of a Minister of this Government on 9 April and to the knowledge of the Department of Foreign Affairs on 12th April.

Mr Anthony - What about the other person?

Mr WHITLAM - My memory is that the fourth person mentioned in the Yugoslav statement of 12th April was not claimed to be an Australian citizen. Three of them were claimed in the Yugoslav statement to be citizens of Yugoslavia and Australia; the fourth person was claimed to be a citizen of Yugoslavia alone.

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