17 June 2010

Australian Immigration minister cancels Motekiai Taufahema visa

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The Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has notified Tongan national Motekiai Taufahema that is in the national interest to cancel his visa under section 501A(2) of the Migration Act.

Mr Taufahema was sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment for the manslaughter of a police officer in March 2002.

He was given a reasonable opportunity to respond to a notice of intention on 28 April 2010 to consider cancelling his Australian Visa.

"There were a number of factors I weighed up in my decision to cancel Mr Taufahema's visa, including, in particular, the serious nature of the offence of manslaughter of a police officer and the harm that such an offence does to the integrity of Australia's law enforcement framework," Senator Evans said.

"The government takes very seriously its role in protecting the Australian community from unacceptable risk of harm from criminal or other serious conduct by non-citizens."

The Australian Immigration Minister said he had decided to set aside the decision of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) not to cancel his visa and to cancel Mr Taufahema’s visa.

Section 501A(2) enables the minister to set aside a decision of the AAT, and to refuse or cancel the visa himself.

Mr Taufahema will be liable for removal on completion of his prison sentence, and his earliest possible release date from prison is March 2012.

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