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THE DANES STORY

Danes struggle on after their release

By Malcolm Brown
March 18 2002


Five months after being freed from a Laotian prison, Kerry and Kay Danes face a continuing struggle to prove their innocence and even to maintain their mental stability.

With their three children beside them, the Danes are doing the best they can to resume their life, they tell the ABC's Australian Story tonight. The couple, who had a security business, were arrested in December, 2000, after the discovery of the apparent theft of sapphires from a safe belonging to the company, Gem Mining Laos.

They were convicted and sentenced to seven years' jail. They were pardoned after intense diplomatic pressure.

Kerry Danes, who kept himself going through his periods of torture with the belief that Australia's military forces would ultimately come to the rescue, has resumed his career in the army.

Kay Danes, who suffers depression and admits that she has contemplated suicide, does the best she can.

The couple have had support at the highest levels from the Australian Government.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has said that no guarantee was given to Laos at the time of their release that the remaining $700,000 of the $1 million they were ordered to pay would be paid.

The Danes believe that if an Australian court ever had the opportunity to review the evidence against them, and to see evidence not admitted in Laos all pertaining to their defence, they would be cleared.

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