Media release from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

17 May 2001

East Timor: Plunkett Allegations

The SBS Dateline program on Wednesday 16 May included statements by Captain Andrew Plunkett that while in East Timor in 1999, he was under orders from his “chain of command” to “go soft” on the numbers of deaths and extent of TNI complicity in the killings.  Captain Plunkett further alleges that these orders originated from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade categorically denies that the department or any of its officers were the source of any such orders.

Inquiries:   DFAT Media Liaison Section 02 6261 1555

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