1. Indonesia accuses Australia of bribery.
Indonesia’s vice-president Jusuf Kalla has accused Australia of bribery, accusing the government of paying people smugglers.
“It is wrong for a person to bribe, let alone a state. Such an act is definitely incorrect in the context of bilateral relations,” Mr Kalla said.
Mr Kalla has questioned Australia’s ethics over claims officials paid US$5,000 each to crew members of a people smuggling boat to return 65 asylum seekers to Indonesia.
So far Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton have refused to answer questions about whether Australian officials paid the people smugglers to turn boat around.
The Indonesian foreign minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement it was “actually not so hard for Australia to answer the question” and that Australia was “deflecting the issue”.
Ms Marsudi’s spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told ABC News that Indonesia was concerned about the humanitarian aspects of turning back boats, saying the boat at the centre of the bribery allegations was carrying women and children when it ran aground on a remote Indonesian reef.
Yesterday Mr Abbott said in Parliament: “The very consistent position of this Government has been not to comment on operational details”.
Attorney-General George Brandis, also was questioned about the claims, said, “No Australian government comments on operational matters but I can assure you that everything this government has done has been within the law.”
2. Manhunt after attempted abduction in Perth.
Police are searching for a man who tried to snatch an eight-year old boy from his balcony while he was eating breakfast yesterday.The incident took place in the southern Perth suburb of Shelley.
Jordan Cutts from the Seven Network said “He [the boy] managed to break away and he was running around down by the river and a woman has found him and managed to calm him down,” he said.
A woman who found the little boy told Nine News the boy was lying in the middle of the road in the foetal position after running from his attacker.
“He said ‘a man tried to take me from my backyard’ and that was when I asked him to slow down and tell the story again,”
The man was described as being about 175 centimetres tall, slim and dressed in a black hooded jumper.