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Australia urges Vietnam to expedite Qantas worker questioning   2010-01-19 - Bloomberg

The Australian government has urged Vietnamese authorities to speed up questioning of two Qantas Airways Ltd. employees and allow their return to Australia.


Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said he spoke with Vietnam’s ambassador to Australia on Jan. 15 about the two executives of Jetstar Pacific, in which Qantas owns a 27 percent stake. Australia has a keen interest in the fate of the executives, he told reporters in Canberra Tuesday.

Jetstar Pacific Chief Operating Officer Daniela Marsilli and Chief Financial Officer Tristan Freeman have been prevented from leaving Vietnam by the government amid an investigation into a US$31 million loss on fuel hedging, local media reported on Jan. 8, citing a state audit.

“It’s been made quite clear to me that the Qantas executives, or the Jetstar executives, are not the focus of the investigation and we’ve made it clear to the Vietnamese authorities that the sooner the investigation concludes and the sooner the Australians are able to return to Australia, then the better we’ll all be,” Smith said, according to a transcript of his comments.

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