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Balibo investigation surprises Indonesia

Balibo investigation surprises Indonesia article image
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) have launched an investigation into the 1975 deaths of five Australian journalists in Balibo, East Timor, more than 18 months after a NSW coronial inquest concluded Indonesian forces had killed them to cover up their invasion of East Timor. Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith indicated that the AFP operates independently from the government, but that the Australian Government had informed their Indonesian counterparts of the operation. "Indonesia is surprised by this decision," admitted Smith, but added that he didn't expect the investigation to affect diplomatic relations. "We don't regard these as issues that will disturb the fundamentals of the relationship." Renewed interest in the Balibo Five has come from a recently released film directed by Robert Connolly.

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