KEATING’S MAN WONT TALK ON WILSON CASE
By Sasha Uzunov
Michael Costello, a Foreign Affairs adviser during the Paul Keating ALP Federal government, said he would not be commenting on the upcoming 15th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of Australian David Wilson in Cambodia.
Mr Costello was the Secretary of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) from 1993 to 1996, and later became a Chief of Staff to then Federal ALP Opposition Leader Kim Beazley (1999 to 2001). He is now Chief Executive Officer of Actew AGL, Canberra’s power utility.
The former diplomat, released a statement through Actew AGL spokeswoman, Ms Stephanie Luelf on 25 March 2009:
“Thank you for your enquiry but we won’t be making a comment.”
A story on http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/ , Australia’s premier e-journal on politics, revealed last week that the Australian government had turned down an offer of a military rescue mission to save David Wilson and two other western hostages being held by Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge in 1994. All three were later murdered.
Mr Costello was asked why the government rejected the military plan. He was also asked, considering his position in DFAT when Prime Minister Paul Keating had committed Australian troops into combat in Rwanda in 1994, why he Mr Costello had not volunteered for military service as a youngman and fight in the Vietnam War (1962-72).
In 1998 the Victorian State Coroner began an inquest into the death of Wilson but was stopped when the then Coroner, Graeme Johnstone, retired in 2007.
The Who’s Who of Australia book reveals that Mr Costello was born on 23 March 1948 and joined Foreign Affairs in 1971 and did a stint as Head of Current Intelligence Office with the Office of National Assessment (ONA).
When politicians should step aside
On line opinion article on David Wilson – 19 March 2009