A report has claimed two Rwanda nationals, Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani, accused of the brutal murder of tourists in Bwindi Forest, Uganda were brought to Australia as part of the government’s refugee deal with the United States, Politico reported.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he doesn’t “intend to make a commentary on allegations that have been made” but claimed that “our government will always ensure that those character and national security considerations are undertaken”.
Politico reported that two men, accused of the axe and machete slaying of eight tourists on a gorilla safari in 1999, are now in Australia after a refugee swap with the U.S. inked in 2016 by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Three men were accused of the attack, when eight tourists including two Americans were killed in Uganda. They were arrested and brought to America on terrorism charges, and . A U.S. judge ruled their confessions inadmissible in court in 2006, and they have been stuck in immigration limbo since then.
Politico reported two of the three men were relocated to Australia last November, under the deal agreed to by then-President Obama and then-Prime Minister Turnbull in 2016.
This was the arrangement blasted by new President Donald Trump as “ridiculous” in his first phone call with Turnbull in 2017.
Under the deal, America would resettle up to 1250 refugees from offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, while Australia would take a number of refugees from Central America.
A leaked transcript of the call between Trump and Turnbull reported that the then-PM said: “We will take anyone that you want us to take. The only people that we do not take are people who come by boat.”
“So we would rather take a not very attractive guy that helps you out than to take a Nobel Peace Prize winner that comes by boat,” Turnbull reportedly said at the time.
PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten are expected to be asked about the report later on Thursday, when they front media ahead of the election campaign.