Sunday, 18 November 2012 14:34
Foreign Minister Bob Carr says he's raised the case of an Australian lawyer prevented from leaving Mongolia with the country's foreign minister.
Sarah Armstrong was stopped at Ulaanbaatar airport in mid-October because authorities wanted to question her over corruption allegations.
The 32-year-old is a lawyer for Rio Tinto mining subsidiary SouthGobi Resources.
Senator Carr says the government has flagged its concern over Ms Armstrong's month-long detention and he hopes she will be allowed to leave Mongolia soon.
"She's been interviewed as part of these corruption investigations, she's had daily contact from our Consul-General David Lawson," he told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.
"We're taking a keen interest in her case. I raised it with the foreign minister of Mongolia, who I met in Bali last week, and I asked him if he'd take an interest in it."
If Ms Armstrong were to seek more consular assistance the government was ready to give it, but it was limited in what help it could offer, Senator Carr added.
"We can offer consular assistance in these cases. We can't, however, have the government fight the case for an Australian overseas in a foreign judicial system," he said.
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