We pay to keep violent 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.
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 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.
Detective Scott Sheedy told a recent bail hearing that police held “grave fears for the safety of the public” if Bashiri, 35, were freed.
The officer told Sunshine Magistrates’ Court that police had evidence Bashiri had threatened to bomb Australia and labelled Aussies terrorists who were killing children in his country; poured petrol on himself in a government building and produced a lighter; and threatened to kill Australian embassy staff in Iran. He is also accused of stalking police.
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 community.
Detective Sheedy told the court Bashiri “has indicated a hatred of Australia and contempt 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.”
In Queensland, Bashiri was convicted of threatening violence 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 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 in jail before being given a 12-month corrections order.