Hows That Multi Culti Project Working Out For You, uh?
Caroline Overinton in today’s Australian
Two Sydney children will be taken to meet their father at a high-security contact centre, despite claims by their mother that he is a violent extremist with connections to jihadist groups.
The family, who can’t be named for legal reasons, has been in Australia since 2013. The Australian is prevented by law from saying what country they came from, but can report that the man has two wives and six children, all of whom are waiting for protection visas.
The man arrived in Australia with his second wife and their first-born daughter in February 2013. His first wife and their four children soon followed, and the whole family lived together until that November, when the first wife left Australia without her children, and the second wife fled to a women’s refuge in Sydney’s west. She was pregnant at the time with the man’s sixth child.
Court documents show that the second wife, known in court papers as Ms Sunil, told Family Court judge Garry Watts that her husband had been involved with extremist groups abroad since he was in his teens, and that he had previously spent time in prison for handling counterfeit money.
When Justice Watts asked her why she married him, she explained that she didn’t know much about the group he was part of “and some religious people support them, and even now I am not quite sure whether this group is right or good”.
The father objected to his wife’s description of him, but Justice Watts concluded that he had given “evasive evidence about being involved in extremism as an adolescent”. He had also “travelled extensively in the Middle East” and “the history of his movements was not particularly clear”.
He contradicted himself about whether his first wife had agreed to him taking a second wife, and he lied about his criminal history when applying for a visa to remain in Australia.
However, Justice Watts wasn’t impressed with the evidence of the man’s second wife, either.
She told the court that her husband had long boasted about his links to jihadist groups, and his desire to confront the “evil” enemy, and that he raped her daily after they arrived in Australia, prompting her to flee to a women’s refuge, where her second child was born.
She wanted the court to ban her husband from having any contact with the children, the youngest of whom has not met the father.
The judge found that while the mother was not being deliberately evasive, she could not prove her case.
She changed her story several times while being questioned in the witness box, backing away from claims that her husband beat and raped her, and what, exactly, she knew about his jihadist tendencies.
As a result, Justice Watts said he was “unable to say the father was involved with extremists” and he wouldn’t accept the woman’s claims without “corroborative evidence”.
The judge allowed supervised contact, pending a review of the woman’s visa status and a new report by a family relationship counsellor.