Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Cabinet ministers reportedly didn’t answer any questions linked to Australian navy official bribing people smugglers to detour an asylum seekers' boat back to Indonesia. An Indonesian police chief was quoted saying the crew members were given $US 5,000 ($AU 6,498) each by Australian officials to turn around the boat.

The Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton denied payments of that nature last week, but during the Question Time in the Parliament today, both ignored questions based on their statements.

While Mr. Abbott, who neither commented nor denied the claims of bribes to return asylum seekers earlier, she said in Parliament: "The very consistent position of this Government has been not to comment on operational details."

Indonesia’s Reaction To The Bribing Episode

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi has asked the Australian government to clarify the claims of returning a boat packed with 65 asylum seekers into Indonesian waters.

When Ms. Marsudi met Australian ambassador Paul Grigson in Jakarta on Saturday, she asked him about the incident. "He promised to take my inquiry, my questions, to Canberra and he promised to get back to me again," she added. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said once the national police investigation is over, Indonesia would look for more clarification from the Australian side.

Rebuilding Trust Between Australia And Indonesia

In response to the execution of two Australian nationals by Indonesian Government, Australia's ambassador to Indonesia was called back home in April.

But Paul Grigson has returned to Jakarta, five weeks after Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran faced the firing squad in a foreign land.

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