MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
7 June 1999
Trial And Conviction Of Nuon Paet
I welcome the fact that the former Khmer Rouge General Nuon Paet has been tried and convicted today for his part in the 1994 abduction and murder of Australian David Wilson and his French and British friends, Jean-Michel Braquet and Mark Slater.
It has been a major priority for me to see the perpetrators of those crimes brought to justice and an issue which the Australian Government has vigorously pursued.
It is a matter of considerable regret that efforts to secure the safe release of the hostages in 1994 were not successful. The award of damages to the victims' families, including the Wilson family, is at least some recognition of the loss that they have suffered.
Nuon Paet's trial has placed clearly on the record evidence of the involvement of other members, and former members, of the Khmer Rouge in the abduction and murder of David Wilson, his French and British travelling companions, as well as a number of Cambodian and Vietnamese citizens. The Australian Government expects the Cambodian Government to arrest and charge those others in full accordance with the provisions of Cambodian laws.
It is a welcome step forward in this regard that two others believed directly involved in the abduction and murder of David, Sam Bith and Chhuk Rin, were brought to court to give evidence today, and have had their immunity from prosecution lifted.
The trial and conviction of Nuon Paet represents an important step forward in seeing members of the Khmer Rouge brought to account for their brutal policies and their callous disregard for human life. Nuon Paet is the most senior Khmer Rouge member to be brought to account, so far, for crimes committed as a member of that organisation.
I hope the trial
of Nuon Paet will help the family of David Wilson deal with some
of the questions they have had concerning the circumstances of
his death as well as provide some comfort after the long and
difficult period they have faced since then. My thoughts are
with the Wilson family at this time.
|For further information:||
Minister - Innes Willox 02 6277 7500
Department - Tony Melville 02 6261 1555
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