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Morrison defends Rwandan killers resettlement amidst criticism

Author
Newstalk ZB, AP ,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Saturday, 18 May 2019, 9:40AM
Scott Morrison says the two men accused have been cleared of their crime. (Photo / Getty)

Australia's prime minister said on Friday that two Rwandan refugees who resettled in Australia after 15 years in U.S. detention are no longer suspects in the massacre of eight tourists in Uganda 20 years ago. amidst 

U.S. news outlet Politico reported that former Hutu rebels Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani spent more than a decade in a Virginia state jail before Australia accepted them last year. The transfer was part of a refugee swap deal in which the United States agreed to resettle up to 1,250 refugees who Australia banishes to immigration camps on the poor Pacific island nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said both men had been cleared of suspicion in the ax and machete slayings of four Britons, two Americans and two New Zealanders who were in a Ugandan wild park in 1999 to see mountain gorillas.

"These specific allegations were reviewed by our security agencies and by our immigration authorities and they were not found to be upheld," Morrison said. "As a result, they were allowed to come to Australia."

However, former New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee says a decision to resettle two Rwandan murder-accused men in Australia is "incredibly insensitive".

Brownlee says the families will be quite clearly "perturbed".

"These people  should have the right to know that two persons have been allowed to live freely in Australia. It would have been polite at least to let the New Zealand system know so they could tell those families what was happening." 

He says that the proximity of the killers would be unsettling for the family. 

"The reality is that New Zealand s much closer to the East Coast of Australia than the East Coast of Australia is to its West Coast. There clearly has been, by someone at some level, a pretty big oversight." 

 

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