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War criminals seeking safe haven in Australia, ex-UN prosecutor says

[JURIST] Former ICTY deputy prosecutor Graham Blewitt said Monday that Australia has become a safe haven for war criminals avoiding prosecution [ABC Radio interview, recorded audio]. Despite confessing to immigration officials about committing acts of torture, murder and rape, more than 30 suspected war criminals have been granted temporary residency in Australia by the Australian Immigration Department [official website]. Included in the list is a former bodyguard and family member of Saddam Hussein, Oday Adnan Al Tekriti [AFP report]. Tekriti, who was originally denied a visa because customs officials believed he was involved with crimes against humanity, was later granted temporary residency and has since married an Australian citizen, strengthening his claims for residency. Over the last ten years, war criminals from Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Turkey and the former Yugoslavia, have been allowed to live in Australia until their lengthy appeal process was complete. The Sydney Morning Herald has local coverage. AFP has more.

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