Statement by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS) has been requested by the Prime Minister to conduct an inquiry into the actions of relevant Australian agencies in relation to the arrest and detention overseas of Mr Mamdouh Habib from 2001 to 2005.

An inquiry of this kind is provided for under section 9(1), section 9(3) and section 9AA(a)(i) of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Act 1986 (the IGIS Act).  These provisions of the IGIS Act enable the IGIS, at the request of the Prime Minister, to inquire into matters relating to an intelligence agency, and to inquire into an intelligence or security matter relating to a Commonwealth agency, including matters that occurred outside Australia.

Section 17(1) of the IGIS Act requires that inquiries be conducted in private.  As a result, the Inspector-General will not be making any comment during the inquiry.

The Inspector-General is committed to conducting this inquiry in as thorough and timely manner as possible.

Vivienne Thom
Inspector-General
1 January 2011