Anthony Albanese’s under-fire government has blamed Peter Dutton for playing a role in the bungled handling of 141 asylum seekers walking free from immigration detention – including one who ‘disappeared’ without an electronic ankle monitor.
Daily Mail Australia can reveal that detainee has since been found and is now complying with stringent visa conditions.
The detainee absconded after he was released on the back of a High Court ruling which deemed indefinite detention unconstitutional.
After weeks of criticism from the Coalition over its handling of the ‘mess’ following the High Court decision, senior ministers attempted to shift the blame to Mr Dutton.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles argued in Question Time on Wednesday that Labor opposed the High Court decision, but had no choice but to oblige with the ruling.
‘I can tell you who did make a decision,’ he said.
‘The Leader of the Opposition intervened as the then Minister for Immigration to allow the convicted paedophile at the centre of the High Court case NZYQ to apply for a new visa instead of seeking to have him removed from Australia.’
After enduring weeks of criticism from the Coalition and the general public over the move, the gloves are finally off and Labor has laid the blame squarely at the feet of Peter Dutton
Mr Giles claimed this decision ‘enabled [NZYQ] to stay in this country’.
‘The Leader of the Opposition’s personal intervention meant that he was allowed to remain in Australia until the day the High Court made its decision.
‘This ultimately is his mess.
‘Once again, this Leader of the Opposition talks tough but he acts weak. It is time… It is time… And you need to stop playing political games and work with us to keep Australians safe.’
After the revelation, both Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil also made reference to Mr Dutton’s involvement in his past role.
Ms O’Neil said: ‘NZYQ would not even have been here were it not for the incompetence of the Leader of the Opposition.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles argued in Question Time again on Wednesday that Labor opposed the High Court decision, but had no choice but to oblige with the ruling
‘The Leader of the Opposition… he’s the reason NZYQ was here to begin with.’
Labor appeared to be referencing an alleged decision made on February 11, 2016, which allowed NZYQ to apply for a safe haven enterprise visa just two weeks after he pleaded guilty to raping a 10-year-old boy.
In 2020, a delegate of the minister rejected the application.
NZYQ launched proceedings against his indefinite detention in the High Court after he was released on parole into immigration detention in May 2018.
He’d served three years and four months of his five-year prison sentence for raping the child just months after he was granted a bridging visa.
After arriving via boat in September 2012, it was determined that NZYQ could not be deported because he would face persecution in his home country.
NZYQ’s success with the High Court meant that 140 other asylum seekers in indefinite detention whose visas had been cancelled for various reasons were also released into the community.
After the revelation, both Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil also made reference to Mr Dutton’s involvement in his past role
Asylum seekers released from immigration detention after a landmark High Court decision have been spotted wearing ankle monitors in the grounds of a western Sydney motel
Murders and child sex offenders were among some of the offenders who benefited from the decision.
At least one of those people is now ‘missing’, having not been fitted with an electronic ankle monitor.
It’s understood at least three others are refusing to wear ankle monitors.
Speaking of the missing person, Ms O’Neil said on Wednesday: ‘I’m not going to go into the detail of it, other than to say that the Australian Border Force and the Australian Federal Police have done an exceptional job here.
‘I am not going to criticise police.’