Pacific Media Watch

18 December 2016

TIMOR-LESTE: Brother seeks answers from Australia over NZ death at Balibo

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Gary Cunningham … brother Greig seeking access to secret documents about his death at the hands of Indonesian Special Forces. Image: File

Duncan Graham
AUCKLAND (Asia Pacific Report / Pacific Media Watch): Greig Cunningham wants to know how and why his brother Gary died. The New Zealand news cameraman was killed in 1975 by Indonesian Special Forces in what was then East Timor – now Timor-Leste.

In his four-decade fact hunt, the retired Australian accountant’s latest stopover has been the brothers’ birthplace, New Zealand.

In the capital Wellington he asked Foreign Minister Murray McCully to pressure the Australian government for release of secret legal documents about his older sibling’s death.

After the meeting, Cunningham said McCully had agreed to contact the Australian government for the papers “but suspects they will refuse”.

However, the minister agreed to open the files about Gary held by the New Zealand government once public servants can access the archives. These have been inaccessible since a major earthquake hit Wellington in mid-November. Several office blocks have been closed until security can be assured.

Read full story on Asia Pacific Report

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