Helen Clark frisked at Sydney Airport
24 November 2003
By THE AGE'S LOUISE DODSON and NZPA
Prime Minister Helen Clark was frisked at Sydney Airport for explosives in an incident that has embarrassed the Australian Government.
Despite having a NZ security officer with her, Miss Clark was pulled out of a queue on October 28 and given a body scan with a new explosives detection device to make sure she was not a bomb-carrying terrorist, The Age has learned.
Senior Australian Government sources said the incident was an embarrassment. It was not regarded as the right way to treat the leader of Australia's close ally, they said.
"You won't be surprised to hear the New Zealand Prime Minister was not found to be carrying any explosives," a spokesman for Transport Minister John Anderson said.
But the Aussies don't seem to grasp what the problem is.
"I'm not sure what we're meant to say here, whether she should be treated differently than everybody else," a spokesman for Australian Transport Minister John Anderson said yesterday.
A lot of people would think that she should be, it was suggested.
"And why would they assume that?" the spokesman asked.
Caption: AUSSIE VIEW: How Melbourne paper, The Age, saw the frisking incident.