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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 414..


DR FOSKEY (continuing):

The bomb exploded early on the morning of February 13, killing two workers who had picked up the bin and were loading it into their garbage truck. A policeman on duty outside the hotel ... also died in the blast.

So it was truly a terrible event. The report continues:

Australia's then-Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who was staying at the Hilton Hotel, immediately cancelled the meeting of Commonwealth leaders and called out the army to strengthen security in Sydney against perceived "terrorist activities".

At the time, it was believed the Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, was the target of the attack. But later investigation cast doubt on that theory ...

No-one claimed responsibility, though Desai blamed the Indian religious organisation Ananda Marga, whose members had been demonstrating outside the hotel, for the attack.

Of course, as a visiting dignitary, his words had to be taken notice of. The report continues:

In June 1978, three Ananda Marga members in Australia were charged with conspiracy to murder in an incident unrelated to the Hilton bombing, but were pardoned in 1985 after a judicial enquiry.

One of the three members, Tim Anderson, was arrested on 30 May 1989-

That is 11 years later-

over the Hilton bombing. The next day a former Ananda Marga member, Evan Pederick, confessed to the bombing and alleged Anderson was the planner. Pederick claimed to have placed 20 sticks of gelignite in the bin outside the Hilton. He was convicted in September 1989 and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Pederick testified at the trial of Anderson, who was convicted in October 1990 and jailed for 14 years. But Anderson's conviction was overturned on appeal the following year and he was released. Pederick is also now free-

He spent eight years in jail-

and there is considerable doubt as to whether he really was the Hilton bomber.

Terry Griffiths, a policeman injured in the bombing, later claimed he had been told by other police it was an event staged by people within various Australian security forces.

Mr Mulcahy: Oh, conspiracy theory!

Mrs Dunne: For goodness sake!

Mr Mulcahy: Dreadful!

Mrs Dunne: So the police put several sticks of gelignite in a garbage bin!


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