Australia repeats offer to fly Skase down under

The Australian government has denied accusations it paid kidnappers to secure the arrest of fugitive businessman Christopher Skase at his Puerto Andratx home in Majorca, but vowed to continue the chase for the failed tycoon. Skase's first television interview since he was released from hospital after fighting off an extradition attempt for seven years, was broadcast in Australia on Sunday night, and Skase has accused the government of planning his death if it was allowed to extradite the former Qintex chief and media and leisure tycoon from his home in Puerto Andratx. He told Foxtel's Laws program last night the government would have let him die of his emphysema while returning him to Australia by aircraft. As well, the government had engaged in a cover–up to hide the amount it spent in the drawn-out legal pursuit, he said.

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