Subject: Balibo widow wants remains brought home

Canberra Times

July 26, 2008 Saturday

Balibo widow wants remains brought home

David Curry

Shirley Shackleton has urged the Rudd Government to work for the return of the remains of her husband, Greg Shackleton, one of five Australian and British journalists killed in Balibo during the 1975 Indonesian invasion.

Ms Shackleton said while she would never have full closure on her husband's death, the return of her husband's remains would offer some relief to her grief. "It will be both a torture and a wonderful feeling that they're no longer in the country of the people who murdered them," she said. In November NSW Deputy Coroner, Dorelle Pinch, found that the journalists had been murdered by members of the Indonesian military while attempting to surrender.

She recommended to the Federal Government that the remains, believed to now be in Jakarta, be returned to Australia. Ms Shackleton hoped those ultimately responsible for her husband's death in 1975 were brought to justice. "I only want them in court; I don't want their blood. I think they should be made to talk about who gave the orders and what was going on. Soldiers don't wake up in the morning and say, 'I think I'll go kill the first white guys I see'. They do it under orders."

Ms Shackleton was in Canberra to support the launch of Labor candidate Wayne Sievers, who will stand for the seat of Brindabella in the October ACT election. Mr Sievers served as an Australian Federal Police officer during East Timor's violent 1999 independence ballot, in which thousands are believed to have died. He says he was eventually forced out of the Australian Federal Police after telling the media he had provided internal Indonesian Army documents countering John Howard's claims that only "rogue elements" were responsible for the 1999 violence. 

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