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Opposition undermining chase for Skase.

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Minister for Justice and Customs

Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

Senator for South Australia


Wednesday 11 August 1999





Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today slammed her Opposition counterpart, Duncan Kerr, for undermining the chase for Christopher Skase.


“Mr Kerr was recently quoted in the Majorca Daily Bulletin, claiming the chase for Skase was a ‘waste of money,’ and that the only way for Mr Skase to be returned to Australia was for new charges to be laid against him and that ‘Skase will continue to run rings around the Australian authorities,” Senator Vanstone said.


“Mr Kerr is absolutely wrong.


“Firstly, Australia is not spending taxpayers money on removing Mr Skase from Spain.


“The issue of Mr Skase’s residency in Spain is entirely a matter for Spanish authorities, in accordance with Spanish law. Australia is not, quite appropriately, a party to the proceedings there.


“Secondly, the simple fact is that it is not possible for Australia to make another request for Mr Skase’s extradition from Spain.


“This same advice was provided to the former Labor Government, yet Mr Kerr and his predecessor as Shadow Justice Minister, Senator Bolkus, repeatedly claim that a fresh extradition is possible.


“What this does is undermine Australia’s efforts in the chase for Skase.


“Mr Kerr’s comments, quoted in the Majorca Daily Bulletin confuses the issues and sends a message that Australia doesn’t really care whether Mr Skase is brought to justice or not.


“I can assure Australians that Mr Skase and any other fugitives from Australian justice will be vigorously pursued according to law.


“Life is often a bit of a confidence game. All Mr Kerr’s contributions in this matter serve to do is give Mr Skase and his supporters overseas comfort and sends a totally false message to the Spanish public and authorities about Australia’s commitment to pursuing Mr Skase.


The Australian Government is determined to continue pursuing Mr Skase and I re-state the Government’s appreciation of the Spanish Government’s efforts and resolve in dealing with this issue.”


Minister available through Kevin Donnellan 0419 400 078


[Attachment to hard copy:

Chase for Skase “waste of money”

Majorca Daily Bulletin 20 July 1999

Held in DPL’s information files]





rw  1999-08-13  13:04