Australia helps six accused of Peru death

Last updated 14:47 01/07/2012

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Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says six young Australians accused of murdering a doorman while they were holidaying in Peru have been given consular assistance.

Lino Rodriguez Vilchez, 46, died on January 19 in an incident that was first treated as a suicide by Peruvian police. They now allege it was homicide.

Jessica Vo, Hugh Hanlon, Tom Hanlon, Sam Smith, Harrison Geier and Andrew Pilat, all in their 20s, have told Fairfax of their disbelief that they are being accused of pushing the doorman to his death at an apartment block in Lima.

"Following a campaign by the doorman's brother, the case has been reopened," said Ms Vo, speaking for the group.

"We are being completely wrongly accused of throwing him off our balcony."

Senator Carr today said no one had been charged over the death.

The Australians first contacted the Australian embassy in Lima, Peru's capital, after a police investigation into the death in their apartment building, he said.

"They were advised by Peruvian authorities that they could continue with their travel plans and they've returned to Australia," Senator Carr said.

"Our embassy staff will continue to seek information from Peruvian authorities and have assisted the group with information from local lawyers."

The six Australians said they would send statements to the Peruvian judge looking into the case.

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