D26

5 June 1995

ALDRED ALLEGATIONS AGAINST M.J. COSTELLO - SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TRADE

STATEMENT BY MR COSTELLO

I have seen the text of Mr Aldred's speech today and the letters which I understand he read out to Parliament. Any suggestion that I am engaged in activity concerned with drug running or improper links with any foreign intelligence service or have received illicit funds are totally untrue. These outrageous allegations are grievously harmful to my standing and reputation. Their falsity could, and should, have been established before being aired in public under privilege in this way.

The allegations are matters which Mr Aldred has said he has referred to the Australian Federal Police. I encourage the Federal Police to undertake the most rigorous and full examination of this matter. I pledge my total cooperation in that investigation. When the police determine that the allegations are utterly without foundation, I look to a public and unqualified apology from Mr Aldred.