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  • Balibo Five

    Balibo Five: Investigation into deaths of five journalists dropped by Australian Federal Police
    Sara Everingham
    Tue 21 Oct 2014

    The Balibo Five were killed in October 1975.

    The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has abandoned a war crimes investigation into the killing of five Australian newsmen at Balibo in East Timor in 1975.

    Five years ago the AFP launched an investigation into the deaths of Brian Peters, 29, Malcolm Rennie, 28, Gary Cunningham, 27, Gregory Shackleton, 29, and Anthony Stewart, 21, who were reporting on Indonesian military action.

    In 2007, New South Wales deputy state coroner Dorelle Pinch found the five men died at Balibo in Timor Leste, also known as East Timor, on October 16, 1975.

    In her inquest into the death of Peters, Ms Pinch concluded the men "died from wounds sustained when (they) were shot and or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian special forces, including (Commander) Christoforus Da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah to prevent (them) from revealing that Indonesian special forces had participated in the attack on Balibo".

    The AFP confirmed in a statement to the ABC they had abandoned their investigation into the killing of the men, who came to be known as the Balibo Five.

    "The AFP has conducted an extensive review of the investigation," the statement read.

    "During the investigation the AFP identified challenges associated with establishing jurisdiction. The investigation continued in an effort to overcome those issues.

    "However, the AFP has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to prove an offence.

    "As a result, the AFP has exhausted all inquiries in relation to this matter and will be taking no further action.

    "The AFP has had ongoing consultation with the families throughout this complex and difficult investigation. Family members based in Australia and the United Kingdom were briefed by senior AFP investigators this evening."

    The AFP said the men's families have been informed of the decision.

    In 2009, former Indonesian soldier Gatot Purwanto told the ABC the men were shot deliberately but not executed.

    A few months after the deaths of the Balibo Five, another Australian journalist, Roger East, was killed in Indonesia.

    The Australian film Balibo, which is about the five men as seen through the eyes of East, was released in 2009.

  • #2


    • #3

      Govt bans Indonesian official: WikiLeaks
      December 18, 2010

      The latest revelation from WikiLeaks says the Australian government has quietly blacklisted a prominent Indonesian political figure implicated in the Balibo Five killings.

      The Fairfax media says Canberra has been working with Indonesian authorities to manage the fallout from the scandal.

      Secret US diplomatic cables reveal that Australia has declared Yunus Yosfiah, a special forces captain during the 1975 invasion of East Timor, to be persona non grata with sanctions that would bar him from entering Australia.

      New South Wales Deputy Coroner Dorelle Pinch found in 2007 that Yosfiah ordered and participated in the murder of the five Australian newsmen at Balibo.

      He later became a general and minister of information in the late 1990s, and remains an influential figure in Indonesian politics.


      • #4
        In 2009, former Indonesian soldier Gatot Purwanto told the ABC the men were shot deliberately but not executed.

        Eŕrr...ok. 😔
        Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.


        • #5
          True! if you think Thais are unscrupulous try the Indos for size.


          • #6
            Timor-Leste : Balibo Five - 16 October 1975
            The Balibo Five was a group of journalists for Australian television networks who were killed during the Indonesian invasion of East Timor.

            The Balibo Five were based in the town of Balibo in East Timor (then Portuguese Timor), where they were killed on 16 October 1975 during Indonesian incursions before the invasion.[1] Roger East travelled to Balibo soon after to investigate the likely deaths of the Five and was later executed by members of the Indonesian military on the docks of Dili.

            In 2007, an Australian coroner ruled that they had been deliberately killed by Indonesian special force soldiers.[2] The official Indonesian version is that the men were killed by cross-fire during the battle for the town. According to The Economist, the Australian Government has never challenged this view in order to avoid damaging relations with Indonesia.[3]

            After the ruling, newly elected Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd declared "those responsible should be held to account... You can't just sweep this to one side."[4][5] However, no meaningful action was taken when he was elected and Rudd refused to visit the gravesite of the slain journalists in 2008.[6]



            • #7

              Uploaded on Jan 23, 2012


              • #8


                • #9
                  Australia, Indonesia, the US- all are complicit in a cover-up of events that happened in Timor in the late '70's. I doubt the real details will ever come to light- the Fretilin was considered communist you see, even though it really wasn't.


                  • #10
                    Don't drag us into your micro-shitfights over nano-soverignty with cannibals and fellow ferel-lifeforms.

                    Timor's newfound sovereignty is working out about as well as South Sudan's.

                    The only thing worse than 53 African countries is 54.
                    Last edited by Texpat; 10-16-2016, 12:56 AM.


                    • #11
                      Catholic cannibals. Wouldn't happen to be getting it mixed up with Irian Jaya, would you?


                      • #12
                        Lest we forget.

                        Standing in front of a "memorial" to the five journalists killed in Balibo, Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik talks with head of the ACTU, Bob Hawke, during his visit to Indonesia in April, 1976.

                        The deaths of the five men, Greg Shackleton, Gary Cunningham and Tony Stewart of Channel Seven and Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie of Channel Nine, in Balibo on October 16, 1975, and the subsequent death of another journalist, Roger East, six weeks later in Dili, have been a source of embarrassment to the Indonesian and Australian Governments for many years.

                        The debt we owe the six men will never be paid.



                        • #13
                          Greg Shackleton paints "Australia" on a shop wall in Balibo in East Timor in 1975. He and five other journalists were killed while covering Indonesia's invasion.



                          • #14
                            Australian spy chief to face tribunal in fight to keep East Timor, Balibo records secret
                            Andrew Greene
                            Updated about 8 hours ago

                            Australian intelligence operations that took place during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor should stay secret, the head of the country's overseas spy agency will argue today.

                            Key points:

                            • Academic Clinton Fernandes has been fighting for access to ASIS records on East Timor
                            • Australia's spy chief is scheduled to appear at a tribunal to explain why ASIS does not want the documents made public
                            • The documents in question relate to Australia's covert operations during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor in the 1970s

                            In what is believed to be a first, Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) director-general Paul Symon is scheduled to appear at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal to put forward his organisation's case.

                            The spy chief's testimony is in response to Canberra-based academic Clinton Fernandes, who has battled since 2014 for access to the 40-year-old ASIS records on East Timor.

                            At first ASIS and the National Archives insisted that they could not even confirm or deny whether such records existed, claiming that to do so would cause damage to Australia's "security, defence or international relations".

                            Professor Fernandes challenged this position in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, and in February the National Archives backed down, conceding it did in fact have such records.

                            But National Archives insisted it and ASIS needed up to a year to examine the documents to consider whether they could be released.
                            "It was common knowledge that Australia was involved in East Timor and was very interested in Indonesia in the 1970s," Professor Fernandes told the ABC.

                            "To say that even a confirmation that ASIS records exist would harm national security seems ridiculous to me.

                            "We hope in the proceedings to ask questions that make [ASIS director-general Paul Symon] justify why on national security grounds these materials should continue to be withheld 43 years after the event."

                            The University of New South Wales academic, who is a former Defence intelligence officer, believes the classified ASIS records could offer more insights into the events leading up to the killing of five Australian journalists in Balibo in 1975.

                            "We hope to find the extent to which the covert instrument of statecraft was involved," Professor Fernandes said.

                            "The documents would shed light on Australian diplomacy and Indonesian military operations in Timor. The true facts, the details about the diplomacy and the human intelligence before and after that haven't really been exposed.

                            "It would be a real victory for all of us concerned with transparency.

                            "What is the intelligence, the Secret Intelligence Service telling us about developments in Timor or foreknowledge about the killings of those journalists?"

                            Family of Balibo Five victim want documents made public

                            Greig Cunningham, the brother of Balibo Five victim Gary Cunningham, told the ABC he supported Professor Fernandes' push for the documents' release.

                            "All strength to him. I hope he is successful. We have been trying since 1975 to get the truth about what happened in Balibo in that time. We've hit a brick wall all the time from our own Government," Mr Cunningham said.

                            "This is something we desperately need, we desperately want. We want justice."

                            Mr Cunningham said he believed there was more information about what was happening in Balibo before his brother was killed to which ASIS would have access.

                            "We've had eyewitness accounts, but we actually know that there is more information that the Indonesians have access to. I believe that ASIS do. But they still are refusing to keep it for us," he said.

                            "They don't realise the ripples of effect. It destroys some families. It's destroyed the backgrounds to people.
                            "All we need is the truth. We are not after justice in the respect of vengeance to hang people up or anything like that. We just want to be told what happened.

                            "After 43 years, we're entitled to that, and I expect it."

                            ASIS evidence to be kept secret during private hearing

                            Much of the proceedings in today's historic tribunal hearing will be kept secret after acting Attorney-General Greg Hunt last week agreed to an ASIS request that part of its evidence be given in private.

                            In a letter dated April 19 explaining his decision, Mr Hunt said he had "given serious consideration to all the material and the reasons for and against the disclosure of the information".

                            "I have determined that the disclosure of this information would be contrary to the public interest by reason that it would prejudice the security, defence or international relations of Australia," the letter said.

                            "Therefore I am satisfied that it is necessary to issue a public interest certificate to protect the information they contain.

                            "This certificate will also cover any information given as evidence that discloses the contents of the confidential affidavit."

                            Professor Fernandes said the move meant ASIS would be able to give its evidence in secret and he would not be able to hear it, but will later be asked by the tribunal to respond to it.

                            Records sought on Australian links to CIA plot in Chile

                            Among the historic ASIS records Professor Fernandes is also hoping to have released are those covering the spy agency's operations in Chile before the 1973 coup.

                            Chilean president Salvadore Allende was overthrown by military forces who installed dictator Augusto Pinochet.

                            Two officers from ASIS were stationed in Santiago following a formal request from the United States, but little else is known about their activities.

                            "ASIS ran agents in Chile for the United States, and if the United States can release 16,000 pages of records on its involvement in the coup in Chile, surely Australia can do the same," Professor Fernandes said.



                            • #15


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