Drone over

The Saturday Paper - - Diary -

The Aus­tralian drone-fly­ing doc­u­men­tary maker James Rick­et­son is still banged up in the aw­ful Prey Sar jail on the out­skirts of Ph­nom Penh, ac­cused of “for­eign spy­ing ” in an un­spec­i­fied man­ner and for an un­spec­i­fied coun­try.

Gadfly has known Rick­et­son since school days and there is not the re­motest pos­si­bil­ity he could be or would be a spy for any­one, un­less the spooks are do­ing a very cun­ning line in bleed­ing-heart do­good­ers. Un­til his in­car­cer­a­tion he was a reg­u­lar at the Whale Beach cafe where he could be seen fu­ri­ously bash­ing away at his lap­top.

For­eign min­is­ter Julie Bishop has just made a late en­try into the case with a com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the Cam­bo­dian regime that it would be nice if re­la­tions were not strained.

Cam­bo­dia is the same coun­try that Aus­tralia es­sen­tially bribed with a $40 mil­lion aid pack­age and another

$15 mil­lion al­lo­cated for re­set­tle­ment of de­tainees from Nauru. A frac­tion of the re­set­tle­ment money was spent be­cause a grand to­tal of two refugees, as of a year ago, were still in the coun­try, and one was say­ing he’d leave if he could. Another tri­umph from the failed travel agent

Scott Mor­ri­son as im­mi­gra­tion min­is­ter.

You’d think some­thing could have been done ear­lier to res­cue Rick­et­son from the grip of the Cam­bo­dian “jus­tice”

sys­tem. Af­ter all, he is the grand­son of the great stock­bro­ker Stan­i­forth Rick­et­son, di­rect de­scen­dant of J. B. Were, friend to Pig Iron Bob and fi­nan­cial ad­viser to Lib­er­als the length and breadth of Collins Street.

Where are Goose­bumps Cater and the Men­zies “Re­search” Cen­tre when you need them?

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