A Brisbane lawyer has accused the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of “interference with the administration of justice” after two of his clients awaiting criminal trial had their visas stripped and were thrown in detention centres despite being granted bail by courts.
Bruce Peters is representing two men, on unrelated charges, who are foreign citizens but were granted visas to visit and work in Australia: a Solomon Islands man, who we’ll call Simon, facing charges of using the internet to procure sex with an underage girl, and a man from New Zealand, who we’ll call Ben, who has been charged with a historical sexual assault.
After being charged by police, the men had been granted bail by judges in their respective cases ahead of their court dates later this year. Ben was initially refused bail and held in custody for two months, but a Supreme Court judge later overturned the initial bail decision and granted his release.
Peters claims that — despite courts assessing the flight risk and risk to society posed by the two men, and ruling that they should be allowed back into the community to await trial — both Simon and Ben were intercepted and detained by Australian Border Force agents within days of being granted bail, had their visas revoked and were sent to detention centres.
Simon has been sent to a facility in Western Australia, despite residing in Queensland, while Ben was sent to Christmas Island. Both men have been in detention around three months. Peters claimed he had been allowed almost zero access to the men, sharing just one phone call with Ben and only a “five minute” conversation with Simon.
“It’s presumptuous. With [Ben], the Supreme Court granted him bail, and the justice remarked he was not sure why he was detained. The family paid $5000, and …read more
Source:: The Huffington Post – Australia