You pay to keep refugee

Herald Sun - - FRONT PAGE - KEITH MOOR

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.

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