Subject: AU: Warrants urged over Balibo Five killings

The Australian

Warrants urged over Balibo Five killings

From correspondents in London | February 27, 2008

BRITAIN is being urged to order arrest warrants for two surviving former Indonesian military chiefs linked to the deliberate killing of the Balibo Five.

The British government is being called on to take action because two of the Australian-based newsmen killed in East Timor by Indonesian forces in 1975 were born in the UK.

In a speech to be delivered at Westminster tomorrow (AEDT), Liberal Democrats MP Don Foster will demand the government order INTERPOL to issue warrants for the two surviving Indonesian military men a NSW coroner linked to the killings.

A handful of former senior military personnel, including Captain Yunus Yosfiah, who allegedly gave the orders to kill the newsmen, Commander Christoforus da Silva, Major-General Benny Murdani and Colonel Dading Kalbuadi were identified by deputy NSW coroner Dorelle Pinch as being involved in the deaths.

"Murdani and Kalbuadi are dead," Mr Foster's speech says.

"The other two are not.

"Will the minister insist that those accused of the murders face justice - by, if necessary, a UK initiative for INTERPOL to issue warrants for the two surviving Indonesians the coroner names?"

Mr Foster also wants Britain to endorse Ms Pinch's findings and has demanded the British government reveal what reports on the journalists' deaths its intelligence representatives in Canberra saw at the time.

When she handed down her findings last November, Ms Pinch ruled that Gary Cunningham, Greg Shackleton, Tony Stewart and their British-born colleagues Brian Peters and Malcolm Rennie were shot or stabbed while trying to surrender to Indonesian-led troops who stormed the border town of Balibo on October 16, 1975.

Their bodies were then dressed in military uniforms and photographed with guns before being incinerated in an attempt to portray them as combatants killed in a mortar attack.

They had been tracked and targeted by the Indonesian military before being killed.

Captain Yosfiah, who later became Indonesia's minister of information, has denied ordering the killings.

Australian Federal Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions are examining the coroner's findings about whether prosecutions could be possible.

Malcolm Rennie's cousin, Margaret Wilson, who lives in London, backed Mr Foster's calls and said she would also like Britain to ban Captain Yosfiah and Commander da Silva from ever setting foot in the country.

"I don't see why they can't," she said.

"And if Australia proceeds (with prosecutions) I don't see why Britain couldn't because two of them were British.

"I would like to see some sort of resolution to this in my lifetime."

Foreign Office Minister Meg Munn is expected to respond to Mr Foster's calls in parliament tomorrow (AEDT).

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