Government admits to false information on siege gunman

Government admits to false information on siege gunman

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been forced to admit to parliament, a senior government official gave false evidence to a Senate hearing about Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis.

Last week, a Senate Committee was told about a letter Monis sent to the Attorney General’s department in October last year, asking about the legality of contacting the Islamic State, just two months before the deadly siege.

An official told the hearing both the letter and the government’s response has been scrutinised by theĀ  joint Commonwealth-New South Wales review of the tragedy.

But Ms Bishop has now admitted to parliament this information was false.

“My statement was based on the evidence given by the deputy secretary of the Attorney-General’s department, Ms Katherine Jones, in budget estimates,” Ms Bishop told Parliament.

“The Attorney-General’s department has now advised that Ms Jones’ evidence was incorrect, and that the letter and the reply were not provided to the review, due to an administrative error in the Attorney-General’s department.”

Labor is now demanding to know how the long government had known this information was false, and has criticised Ms Bishop for only telling parliament after question time had finished for the week.

Attorney-General George Brandis hasĀ  said in a statement he was informed on Monday the evidence “appeared” to be wrong.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus is demanding the parliamentary committee be urgently recalled, in the wake of the revelations.

“The Government needs to clear this up, it’s raised some real concerns. And we were right to raise concerns last week,” he said.

“It’s quite disturbing to now see that the centrepiece of the Government’s intemperate attack on me and on Labor last week, which was the assertion that the letters had been given to the inquiry, has proved to be completely false.”

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Libby Dreyer
Libby Dreyer 1729 posts

Libby has worked as a Senior Journalist at National Radio News since February 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Canberra in December 2010.

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