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031802 Australia-- Kay Danes reveals suicide thoughts


Kay Danes reveals suicide thoughts

BRISBANE, March 18 AAP|Published: Monday March 18, 8:02 PM

Memories of inmates in a Laotian jail being tortured pushed Kay Danes to
contemplate suicide after her return to Australia.

Mrs Danes has been on medication since her return in October last year after
spending 10 months in jail along with husband Kerry over the alleged theft of
gemstones.

She said the sound of the cries of pain of inmates being "interrogated" by
Laotian authorities still haunts her.

"I can hear it day and night. I can recall it, I can hear it plain as day," Mrs
Danes told the ABC's Australian Story.

"It's something that sends a chill so deep right through you. You want to run
from it but you can't.

"After Christmas we went to Blackwater in Queensland to see Kerry's dad.

"I was in a terrible situation where I was laying in bed holding myself because
I could feel all my skin just crawling.

"I just wanted to die. I wanted to go in the bathroom and get his father's
razor blades and just kill myself."

Mrs Danes said Laotian authorities tried to get them to sign a false
confession, which they refused.

She said other inmates did make false confessions after being tortured while in
prison.

"They said next time they would come at night and torture Kerry in front of me
and if I didn't sign they could kill me and kill Kerry," she said.

"They said: `Are you not afraid to die' and I said: `Of course I'm afraid to
die but how can I sign a lie because for all I knew they were going to kill me
anyway'."

On extended leave from the SAS, Mr Danes moved with his family to Laos to
manage a local security company.

The couple maintained they were targeted by a so-called "mafia" element within
the Laotian government which had a dispute with a foreign-owned mining company.

They were sentenced to seven years' jail in June last year on embezzlement,
tampering with evidence and tax evasion, connected with up to $2 million in
missing gems.

They always denied all charges.

After federal government intervention they were released last October into the
custody of Australian Ambassador to Laos Jonathan Thwaites.

Part of the release deal was to agree to pay almost $1 million in compensation
and not to appeal against their conviction.

Mr Danes is back with the Australian army while Mrs Danes said, because of
emotional and medical problems stemming from her imprisonment and the
conviction, she was unlikely to find employment.

They have no intention of paying the money back and Mr Danes said it was
important Australia knew they were innocent.

Australian Ambassador to Laos Jonathan Thwaites said Australians should
understand the Danes did nothing wrong.

"If Kerry with all his SAS training is ever going to break ... it's going to be
because he doesn't feel he can restore his good name and he has somehow been
judged by his own people to be guilty of something that he absolutely didn't
do," Mr Thwaites said.

By Chris Herde


Story Archived from Yahoo News
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