Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Trial of South African Dean.

37.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he has examined the reports of the trial of the Dean of Johannesburg in the South African Press; and whether these reports confirm statements in an English newspaper in October last year that evidence was submitted in the trial of photographs taken of the Dean of Johannesburg with another person when on holiday in this country.

38.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs whether he has secured from the South African authorities a copy of the transcript of evidence in the trial of the Dean of Johannesburg; and whether this transcript confirms reports in an English newspaper in October last year that photographic evidence secured in this country by South African secret agents was used in the trial.

39.

asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs what information he has on the source of photographs of the Anglican Dean of Johannesburg and a London social worker which are stated to have been shown to the Dean by the South African security police; and whether he can clarify the statement of the prosecutor in this case that if the South African security police had such photographs they may have come into their possession in some way other than as the result of the actions of South African agents in Ireland.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 37, 38 and 39 together. I have already made known to the Dáil on 10th November, 1971, and on 14th March last all the information available to me on this matter.

Would the Minister not agree that it is unsatisfactory for him to come to the House in November and say he has not got information and in the following April still to be saying he has no further information in regard to a matter details of which have appeared in the newspapers and which must be available in the transcripts of the trial in South Africa? Would the Minister not agree that the fact that it was stated at that trial that photographs were produced, and the prosecutor did not deny this but suggested they might have been obtained by methods other than direct photography by a South African secret agent, raises an issue which the Minister should have been pursuing in the last five months in a manner which apparently he has not been doing?

All relevant extracts from the transcript have been made available and have been studied in the Department of Foreign Affairs. The evidence given by the witness was not as published in the newspapers. The evidence was to the effect that she had been told by the accused that such photographs had been shown to him while he was in detention. There was no direct evidence with regard to the actual production of photographs at the trial.

The prosecutor did not deny that these photographs existed and had been shown to the accused but suggested they might have been obtained by means other than direct photography by a South African agent, either by stealing them or by buying them. In view of that implied admission of this kind of indirect activity here, why has the Minister not taken action?

All I can say to the Deputy in the House is that the actual transcript and the evidence produced at the trial did not disclose any photographs. What was disclosed was hearsay evidence by a witness that she had been informed that photographs were produced to the accused while in detention, but photographs were not produced at the trial.

The prosecutor did not deny that these photographs existed. Is that not in the transcript the Minister has got?

It is not in any relevant extracts we have received.

Then the Minister has not got the relevant extracts.

We are satisfied that we have.

May I ask the Minister to investigate further and get the full transcript?

The matter is under appeal, as the Deputy will appreciate.

It is not under appeal in this House and we are entitled to the information.