AFP stands by its officer in Croatia

Release Date: Friday, October 10 2008, 12:00 AM

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has full confidence in the professionalism and duties being performed by Federal Agent Marko Dokmanovic in Croatia.

The AFP rejects any assertion that Federal Agent Dokmanovic's ability to perform this liaison work as a member of the AFP has been compromised.

Federal Agent Dokmanovic was deployed to Croatia on 30 September 2008 to assist with the Croatian police investigation into the case of missing person Britt Lapthorne.

Federal Agent Dokmanovic's ability to speak Croatian has enabled him to establish quick and clear lines of communication between the Croatian Police and Australian authorities.

The AFP has received complimentary feedback from the senior Croatian police delegation at the Interpol General Assembly in St Petersburg Russia, regarding the performance and professionalism of Federal Agent Dokmanovic in support of the Croatia police investigation.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on 3AW this morning has affirmed his ‘absolute confidence' in the AFP.

Mr Lapthorne also told Sunrise that he is appreciative of the AFP expressing the importance of the case to the Croatian police.

Federal Agent Dokmanovic is a detective with a background and expertise in complex major investigations and in excess of 25 years policing experience.

Media articles focused on Federal Agent Dokmanovic are unhelpful and only provide a distraction to the concerted efforts by all parties involved to find Ms Lapthorne.

A senior AFP liaison officer, who was deployed to Croatia earlier this week, is attending high level meetings with Croatian law enforcement officials and reaffirming the AFP's commitment to supporting the Croatian investigation.

In addition, Interpol has issued a Yellow Notice to all 187 member countries at the request of Croatia in relation to Ms Lapthorne's disappearance. Interpol's 24-hour command and coordination centre is giving a high priority to incoming information on this matter.

The AFP acknowledges the distress experienced by the Lapthorne family and is committed to providing all assistance possible to the Croatian police investigation and providing advice and support to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the family of Ms Lapthorne.

Media enquiries:
AFP Media (Canberra): (02) 6275 7100