You pay to keep refugee
TAXPAYERS may have to fork out millions of dollars to detain a refugee who can’t be deported despite a court being told he wants to blow up Australians and mow down police.
Victoria Police detectives were so convinced of a credible and imminent threat they appealed directly to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to deport Iranian Behzad Bashiri.
Bashiri was arrested last month and is in immigration detention as an “unlawful noncitizen”. But Mr Dutton has been unable to deport him.
Visiting Canberra last year, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran would not accept repatriation of its citizens against their will.
So Bashiri may have to stay in immigration detention, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $110,000 a year. There is no limit on how long immigration authorities can detain a person.
Brimbank detective Scott Sheedy told a recent bail hearing police held “grave fears for the safety of the public” if Bashiri, 35, were freed.
Sen-Det Sheedy told Sunshine Magistrates’ Court police had evidence Bashiri had: THREATENED to bomb Australia and make big problems for Australians, whom he labelled terrorists who were killing children in his country. POURED petrol over himself in a government building and produced a lighter in front of terrified staff, threatening to burn the place down. WARNED a Victoria Police officer he knew where he lived, what car he drove, and that he intended murdering the officer’s wife and daughter. STALKED and threatened other Victorian and Queensland police officers. CONTACTED the teen daughter of a policewoman during a concerted campaign to intimidate and scare her. THREATENED to kill Australian embassy staff in Iran.
Bashiri arrived in Australia by boat in 2011, claiming to be a refugee from Iran.
The court has heard his psychiatrist went to authorities after their conversations led him to believe Bashiri was likely to harm police and the broader community.
Sen-Det Sheedy told the court Bashiri “has indicated a hatred of Australia and con- tempt for government officials. (He) has a proven history of committing serious crime and has displayed the motivation and capabilities to use violence to support his ideology.
“He has a history of stalking police and has demonstrated behaviours and actions that are of huge concern.
“(He) has known mental health issues and has indicated wanting to run over police with a truck, which is gravely concerning given the recent attacks overseas,” he said.
“He has harassed, threatened and intimidated court security staff and Protective Services Officers and continued to maintain his hatred for police and other government employees. He has been observed to conduct surveillance on police and court staff to identify personal vehicles.”
In Queensland, Bashiri was convicted of threatening viol- ence and given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, after pouring petrol over himself in 2012 and claiming he was going to set a government building on fire.
In June, he was convicted in Sunshine Magistrates’ Court of stalking, assaulting police, resisting arrest, committing an indictable offence while on bail and acting in a disruptive manner in a police jail. He served 13 days’ jail and was given a 12month Community Corrections Order requiring 50 hours’ unpaid work and mental health and drug testing.
Bashiri’s case is similar to that of killer John Basikbasik, who used a child’s bicycle to beat his pregnant Australian spouse to death in 2000.
Found to be a refugee, he can’t be returned to Indonesia and has been in immigration detention more than 10 years.
A supplied image of Behzad Bashiri.