A detention centre guard who fell in love with and later married a detainee is accused of harbouring him while he was on the run from authorities.
Adriana Martinovic, 40, was a guard at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre when she met Aziz Ali Abdulkader, who had arrived from Chad without the correct visa.
Mr Abdulkader was taken to hospital in Toowong, Queensland, on January 21, 2014, after being told his father had died.
Villawood Immigration Detention Centre guard Adriana Martinovic fell in love with Aziz Ali Abdulkader while he was in her custody. He subsequently went on the run from authorities
Aziz Ali Abdulkader arrived in Australia from Chad. He escaped from detention while being transferred to hospital and fathered a child (both pictured) to guard Adriana Martinovic
Adriana Martinovic was employed by Serco at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre when she gave Aziz Ali Abdulkader her phone number. They are now married with a child
He soon fled and called Martinovic, telling her he had been freed on the advice of a doctor and granted a visa.
Martinovic drove a hire car from Sydney to Queensland, picked up Mr Abdulkader from the hospital and took him back to a friend’s house.
She later signed a lease for a home at Greenacre in Sydney’s south-west and after several months she fell pregnant with Mr Abdulkader’s child.
Martinovic was in hospital to give birth when Mr Abdulkader was arrested and taken into custody on October 29, 2014.
She was eventually charged with harbouring an unlawful non-citizen.
‘He told me he had a visa and I believed him,’ Martinovic later told police, according to Fairfax Media.
Adriana Martinovic has pleaded not guilty to harbouring an unlawful non-citizen. She was employed by private contractor Serco when she fell in love with Aziz Ali Abdulkader
Barrister Jeffrey Clarke said: ‘Human nature means you don’t know where you’re going to meet the person who you think is Mr Right or Ms Right.’ Pictured is Villawood detention centre
Martinovic has been on trial in the Downing Centre District Court where she has pleaded not guilty and a jury began deliberations on Friday.
Her barrister Jeffrey Clarke told the jury last week the case was a ‘love story’ which began in a place not known for romance.
‘In today’s climate it’s online, it’s Tinder,’ Mr Clarke said. ‘You meet your partners everywhere.
‘Human nature means you don’t know where you’re going to meet the person who you think is Mr Right or Ms Right.’
Crown prosecutor Adrian Williams used the love story angle to suggest Martinovic had a motive for unlawful behaviour.
‘It is a love story, if that’s what you will,’ he said.
‘Her hope of a future and having a family with this man led her to do things that she wouldn’t have otherwise done.’
A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of Villawood detention centre guard Adriana Martinovic (right) who has pleaded not guilty to harbouring an unlawful non-citizen
Martinovic had given Mr Abdulkader her mobile phone number while he was in custody and it was ‘incredible’ to think Ms Martinovic believed he had later been legitimately freed.
‘The accused was not some ill-informed outsider or naive about such things,’ Mr Williams said.
‘She didn’t give her number to any other detainee. She was so annoyed at contact from other detainees that she reported it.’
Mr Clarke told the jury his client was in love with Mr Abdulkader and would have accepted what he told her.
‘The reality is that, when you meet someone new, at the beginning, you are into that person very much, and you do tend to believe, in my suggestion, what people say,’ he said.
‘Do you remember being excited, ladies and gentlemen, when you first started your relationship? The heart skips a beat.’
Martinovic and Mr Abdulkader married in 2015 and he has obtained a spousal visa to live in Australia.
The unlikely love story of Adriana Martinovic and Aziz Ali Abdulkader began at Villawood