Prime Minister Anthony Albanese refuses to meet with or apologise to Girrawheen bashing victim Ninette Simons

Jake Dietsch
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Perth.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Perth. Credit: Halim Mellick/The West Australian

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has no plans to speak or meet with Ninette Simons — who was allegedly bashed in her home by a detainee released by the High Court — and dodged questions when asked if he would apologise to her.

During his one-day visit to Perth on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said he had not scheduled a meeting with Ms Simons or her husband, who are recovering from the April attack in their Girawheen home.

He also refused to offer a public apology to the elderly couple for their alleged attacker being released on bail, unopposed by the Commonwealth.

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Police allege Ms Simons, 73, and her husband Phillip, 76, were bashed by three men pretending to be cops.

One of the men charged was Kuwaiti-born Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan, who was released as part of the High Court’s NZYQ that found the indefinite detention of 149 detainees was unlawful.

One of the trio accused of bashing a pensioner in WA is an immigration detainee released after a landmark High Court ruling. Pictured is victim Ninette Simons.
Victim Ninette Simons. Credit: WA Police/TheWest

Mr Doukoshkan was in court in February over alleged curfew breaches — which were later dropped — and , despite initial claims by the Government, Commonwealth prosecutors did not oppose bail.

The accused was wearing an ankle bracelet in February, but after the Federal Government’s protection board determined it was unnecessary, he was not being tracked at the time of the home invasion.

When asked whether he would apologise to the victims, Mr Albanese instead said his “heart goes out” to Ms Simons and “no one should be the subject of violence such as Ninette Simons had to put up with”.

“I’m not currently scheduled to visit Ninette Simons. I’ve made it very clear that Ms Simons has been subjected to a terrible crime. The allegations are now before the court for the three alleged perpetrators,” he said.

Pressed on if he would take some responsibility for his Government’s failure to overrule the protection board’s advice that Mr Doukoshkan did not need an ankle bracelet, the PM repeated that “my heart goes out” to her and said the “violent attack” was “regretful”.

Mr Albanese also defended his Immigration Minister Andrew Giles’ failure to overrule the board by pointing to Greens and Coalition senators who had delayed legislation that would jail people who refused to cooperate in their deportation proceedings.

“Anyone who was in government would have had to have dealt with the consequences of this High Court decision — one that I wouldn’t have made, one that we regret, one that we opposed,” he said.

“What the High Court has determined is that governments, politicians, can’t make decisions, which are punitive. And if they do, they will be overturned by the court.

“Since then, we have been the determining, as the Government, a response to that. We have put forward the strongest possible legislation.”

The PM said while the legislation was supported in the lower house by the Opposition, in the Senate the Coalition and Greens “opposed” it and saw it “kicked off into a committee process so that that legislation has still not been passed”.

“I hope that the Senate passes that legislation next week,” he said.

While he refused to meet with the Girawheen victims, Mr Albanese revealed he had spoken to the Perth family of slain brothers Callum and Jake Robinson — who were murdered along with an American friend in Mexico.

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