More help on the way for Australian in Mongolia
Australian lawyer Sarah Armstrong. sarah armstrong
The Department of Foreign Affairs are flying in an extra official to help Australian lawyer, Sarah Armstrong, who has been been stopped from leaving Mongolia.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said today that an extra diplomat was travelling from Seoul to help Australia's Consul-General to Mongolia, David Lawson.
Senator Carr said there would be a meeting with Mongolian authorities on Saturday and that Ms Armstrong would be accompanied with consular staff if she wanted.
Senator Carr said he was not able to talk about the specifics of the case or how long he thought Ms Armstrong would be in Mongolia.
"There's not much else I can say except that, she can be assured of a high level of Australian consular support," Senator Carr told reporters today.
"I don't think I can help by speculating about the nature of the case and how long it might go on."
He said that while he was ready to call the Mongolian Foreign Minister Gombojav Zandanshatar, he was waiting for the go-ahead from DFAT.
"The danger is you make that call before the other side is ready to move and you've fired your best shot," he said.
"I don't want to set back a case by a premature intervention."
He said DFAT had already conveyed Australia's concern to the Mongolian Embassy in Canberra and that his last advice was that Ms Armstrong still had her Australian passport.
A mining lawyer for Rio Tinto subsidiary SouthGobi Resources, Ms Armstrong, 32, was stopped at Ulaanbaatar's airport on Friday because police wanted to quiz her about allegations of money laundering and corruption.
Ms Armstrong's mother, Yvonne, says her daughter had told her she could be involved in the investigation "until Christmas".
"Get her out, just get her out," Mrs Armstrong pleaded to Tasmanian newspaper The Advocate.