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Tuesday, 6 November 1973
Page: 1523

Senator GIETZELT (NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. It relates to Croatian terrorism and follows a question asked by Senator Hannan on 23 October and the conviction, by a jury, of 4 men who were sentenced by Judge Hicks in Sydney Quarter Sessions last Friday. Is it a fact that the 4 men who were found guilty of a terrorist assault against a 61-year-old Croatian were referred to in documents tabled by the Attorney-General in March of this year as being associated with the terrorist group called the United Croats of West Germany? Is it also a fact that one of the men, Jakov Suljak, was named in the Attorney-General's statement as the leader of this organisation and a man 'with a particularly violent record '? Is it a fact that Judge Hicks, in sentencing Suljak, recommended that he be deponed? Is it a fact that on 1 1 November 1969 the Commissioner of Commonwealth Police, Mr J. Davis, also recommended his deportation and that that recommendation was not acted upon by the members of the previous Government, including the Attorney-General's predecessor, Senator Greenwood, during whose term of office this vicious, politically motivated attack took place?

Senator Greenwood - I raise a point of order. Mr President, you have ruled out of order other questions which contained the sort of epithets and unsustainable accusations which are contained in the last part of Senator Gietzelt 's question. The Attorney-General never has had responsibility for the administration of the Migration Act, as is well known. Senator Gietzelt, even if he was not aware of that, is seeking to impute to me, by name, a dereliction which, if it was a dereliction, was not mine at all.

The PRESIDENT - Senator Murphy,in answering the question, will pay due and proper acknowledgment to the objections raised by Senator Greenwood.

Senator MURPHY - It is a fact that on Friday last 4 persons were convicted of a brutal assault which could be described only as an act of terrorism. They were Jakov Suljak, who was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months; Naate Lazic, who was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months; Tomo Juricic who was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months; and Slavco Baric, who was, I think, sentenced to 3 years and 4 months or thereabouts. Judge Hicks recommended that three, including Suljak, be deported. They are not Australian citizens. It is correct that I mentioned those 3 persons in my statement on Croatian terrorism earlier this year. It is correct that Suljak is the President of the Croatian terrorist organisation known as the United Croats of West Germany. It is correct that he has a record of particularly violent crimes. It is a fact that in November 1969 his deportation was recommended by the Commissioner of Police. The recommendation was not acted upon. I think that is a sufficient answer, except to say that the existence of this organisation was well known to the previous Government. Reports had been submitted to it not only by the Commissioner of Police but by the Department of Immigration prior to the statements that there was no credible evidence of any terrorist organisation in Australia.

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