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Australia issues statement regarding censorship order

Update: August, 11/2014 - 08:59
Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh meets with Australia's Foreign Minister Julia Bishop in Myanmar on August 10.— VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Viet Hai

HA NOI (VNS) — The Australian Embassy in Viet Nam has issued a statement on the suppression orders issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria concerning the Australian-style polymer note printing case.

It was made following Viet Nam's Foreign Ministry's handing of a diplomatic note to the Australian Embassy in Ha Noi last Thursday.

The censorship issued by the Supreme Court in Victoria on June 19 lists names of several senior foreign officials, including those from Viet Nam.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh last Friday said Viet Nam vehemently protested the censorship order issued by Australia's Victoria State Supreme Court concerning the Australian-style polymer note printing case.

He noted that relevant agencies had closely co-ordinated with the Australian side to conduct investigations into allegations that a number of citizens of Australia and the UK bribed foreign officials, including Vietnamese officials. Investigations produced no documents or evidence of the alleged acts.

He also made clear that in 2012, the courts of Australia and the UK issued judgments saying that the allegations were groundless.

The Australian Embassy said the suppression orders in question were not released by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

It also noted that Australia took the breach of the suppression orders extremely seriously and the matter had been referred to the police.

According to the statement, the suppression orders were issued by the Supreme Court of Victoria on the application of the Australian Government. The Australian Government obtained suppression orders to prevent publication of information that could suggest the involvement in corruption by specific senior political figures in the region.

The statement said the Australian Government considered that the suppression orders remained the best means for protecting the senior political figures from the risk of unwarranted innuendo.

It added that the naming of such figures in the orders did not imply wrongdoing on their part.

"The Government stresses that the named figures are not the subject of the proceedings," the statement said. — VNS

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