Anthony Albanese says board made ‘wrong decision’ in removing GPS tracker from former detainee’s visa

Katina Curtis and Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Ninette Simons
Ninette Simons Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is outraged prosecutors did not oppose bail for a former immigration detainee who allegedly breached visa conditions in Perth and that his Government’s handpicked community safety board went on to recommend did not need an ankle tracker.

Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan is now facing charges over the alleged home invasion and brutal bashing of 73-year-old Perth grandmother Ninette Simons.

The West Australian revealed on Friday that he was allowed to remove his GPS tracker after the community protection board advised against imposing the condition in a new visa re-issued in March.

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The 43-year-old was wearing an ankle bracelet when he was hauled before a Perth court in February over alleged curfew breaches.

Commonwealth prosecutors did not oppose bail - a position the magistrate described as “generous” - despite expressing concerns about potential future curfew breaches.

The charges against him were later dropped due to a technical blunder that forced the Commonwealth to reissue visas for the entire cohort freed after the High Court ruling.

Mr Doukoshkan was among a group of ex-detainees whose new visa conditions didn’t include GPS tracking, based on advice from the board.

Ninette, pictured, and Philip Simons speak out after a shocking home invasion at their Girrawheen home
Ninette Simons Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

Mr Albanese said on Friday morning he disagreed with that decision.

“I think that’s a wrong decision by that board, but they make the decisions,” he told Sunrise.

But when pushed on who was ultimately responsible, given the Government appointed the board, he said they made decisions independently.

The eight-member board does not make decisions on visa conditions — it only provides recommendations to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles and the Border Force commissioner.

Mr Giles can either make decisions himself or delegate responsibility to officials, which he did in the case of the re-issued visas.

Ms Simons confronted Mr Giles about the failure to GPS track Mr Doukoshkan during a phone call on Wednesday.

Mr Doukoshkan was granted bail over the alleged curfew breaches in February, as The West Australian reported at the time, with the magistrate making it clear she only made the decision because the Commonwealth prosecutor had not opposed the move.

The Prime Minister said the prosecution decision not to oppose “lacks common sense”.

“If it was up to me, I assure you that there wouldn’t have been bail granted in that case,” he said.

“But these things are done independently by the Director of Public Prosecutions … and in consultation with the AFP.

“That wasn’t a decision of Government … and I’m saying that I am just as upset about that decision as you are.”

NDIS Minister Bill Shorten was also dumbfounded at the prosecutors’ stance, asking “why on earth didn’t the Federal prosecutor oppose bail”?

Mr Shorten disagreed with the board’s recommendation that the GSP tracker was not required.

He suggested the advice was based on Mr Doukoshkan not having committed violent crimes in the past.

The West has repeatedly asked Federal authorities to confirm the reasoning behind the board’s recommendation but is yet to receive a response.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the public was “right to be angry about it and upset” after the chain of events.

“The first charge of the Prime Minister of our country is to keep people safe, not to put them in harm’s way, and that’s what’s happened with Ninette,” he said.

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