Peter Dutton has defended bringing two Rwandan men accused of murdering tourists in 1999 into the country last year, claiming no one with any risk is brought to Australia.
According to US media outlet Politico, the men have been accused of being involved in the deaths of eight tourists in Uganda decades ago and had up until last year been kept in US immigration detention. They have not been convicted of the crimes.
It is claimed by multiple media reports that Turnbull and Obama signed a deal in 2016 that would see America take in a total of 1,250 refugees who were living on Manus Island, while Australia apparently agreed to take people that the Obama administration was “very keen on getting out of the United States”, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Bimenyimana and Nyamina were reportedly part of that deal.
Now, the Home Affairs Minister has spoken out about the deal claiming to the ABC, that he did approve for the suspected killers to be allowed in the country, but they are the only refugees he’s agreed to let in.
Defending his decision, Dutton said there is no risk to Australians having them in the country.
“You’ve got to look at all the facts of individual cases, you’ve got to look at the historical perspective around the circumstances, what has happened in the intervening period,” he told the ABC.
“We’ll not take someone who is a risk to the Australian people. People who are experts in these areas have full information available to them, from Border Force, intelligence holdings from the US, whatever it may be. They make a judgement, they inform us of their advice and we act on the advice.”
However, when asked if he has any idea where the two men are currently residing, Dutton said he doesn’t know but can assure Australians they aren’t at any risk of harm.
“I just don’t have any information in relation to individual cases,” he confirmed to the ABC. “But we aren’t bringing in people posing a risk.”
He added: “[But] we don’t have plans to bring any others from America at this stage.”
The two Rwandan men are said to have been members of a Hutu militia linked to the Rwandan genocide and had allegedly murdered eight people including two New Zealanders. According to Politico, they were charged with terrorism offences and US prosecutors had demanded the death penalty.
Although the men, along with a third, reportedly confessed to their alleged crimes, the case was dropped in 2006 after it was revealed they had been tortured in a Rwandan detention centre.