EDITORIAL: Bungling in ex-detainee case just continues to grow

The Nightly
3 Min Read
Ninette Simons ‘doesn’t feel safe’ in her home after shocking home invasion.
Ninette Simons ‘doesn’t feel safe’ in her home after shocking home invasion. Credit: 7NEWS/Supplied

The saga of the former immigration detainee who was released into the community and went on to be charged with taking part in the alleged bashing and robbery of a Perth grandmother is the mother of all stuff ups.

And given the way the Federal Government’s handling of the detainee issue has been moving at a seemingly glacial pace, it is extraordinary how fast they have moved to try to dodge responsibility and deflect blame since Ninette Simons, 73, was left with severe facial injuries.

Let’s recap briefly on the sequence of events that ended in a brutal home invasion which has resulted in Mrs Simons declaring she no longer felt safe in her own home.

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Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan was among the criminal detainees released into the community as a result of a High Court decision in November.

Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan faced a Perth court in February after he was accused of breaching his visa curfew conditions upon his release following the High Court ruling.

But counsel for the Commonwealth in the case did not oppose bail, merely warning that “further breaches may not have the same response”.

The magistrate told Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan he was “on very thin ice”, adding that she would not have granted bail had the Commonwealth not been so “generous”.

But the 43-year-old Kuwaiti’s charges were later dropped after an embarrassing visa bungle where his visa was deemed invalid due to a “technical issue”.

It has now also emerged that Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan had also faced court over charges including for trespass and driving unlicensed just days before the alleged home invasion.

This week Labor insiders on Monday and Tuesday morning were wrongly asserting that Commonwealth prosecutors did oppose his release in the visa curfew case, even including it in media talking points circulated to MPs.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland repeated the claim live on TV after relying on the talking points.

And on Thursday the issue became clouded over who was responsible for decisions allowing former detainees not to wear ankle monitoring bracelets after Prime Minister Anthony Albanese suggested that the crucial calls were made independently.

Australian Immigration Minister Andrew Giles reacts during Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Monday, March 25, 2024. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles is under continued pressure over the detainees issue. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

Mr Albanese was on Thursday morning distancing his ministers from the Commonwealth’s law enforcement board after revelations it seemingly recommended the removal of Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan’s GPS tracking device in March.

But at a February 12 Senate estimates hearing, Border Force head Michael Outram said the immigration minister made decisions about the visa conditions based on the board’s recommendations and his endorsement as the commissioner.

At that point, 36 of the detainees released after the High Court ruling were not required to wear GPS trackers.

Ninette Simons received severe facial bruising and swelling after she was allegedly assaulted during a shocking home invasion at her Girrawheen home. WA Police/Supplied
Ninette Simons received severe facial bruising and swelling after she was allegedly assaulted during a shocking home invasion at her Girrawheen home. WA Police/Supplied Credit: Supplied

Home Affairs boss Stephanie Foster later clarified that Border Force officials were the decision-makers in 13 cases.

On Thursday it emerged that Immigration Minister Andrew Giles had issued original visas last November, which included curfew and electronic monitoring requirements.

However, he did not decide on the conditions placed on the re-issued visas, instead delegating responsibility to an official, a Federal Government spokesman said.

But the political point-scoring has done nothing to diminish the challenge Mrs Simons faces to get back to her old life.

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