Convicted former immigration detainee Aliyawar Yawari appears in court

Former immigration detainee Aliyawar Yawari has told a court he is “diabetic” and “could not breathe” while he waits on remand for allegedly indecently assaulting a woman.

Afghan refugee Mr Yawari, 66, was arrested in early December and charged with two counts of indecently assaulting a woman at a motel in Adelaide’s north.

His arrest came just three weeks after his release from immigration detention in Western Australia, one of 150 detainees set free into the broader Australian community following a High Court decision in November striking down indefinite detention.

Appearing at Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday via video link, Mr Yawari appeared animated and spoke in Persian to a Persian interpreter.

Mr Yawari’s expressions were not translated directly in the court but his interpreter, speaking afterwards, said Mr Yawari had told him he was “diabetic” and “could not breathe” at the city’s remand unit.

Defence lawyer Vageli Dimou, appearing for Mr Yawari, interjected as Mr Yawari spoke out in Persian and told magistrate Oliver Koehn he would speak with his client later.

Mr Dimou did not apply for bail but requested a pre-trial conference date.

Mr Koehn set February 14 for the conference date and Mr Yawari will remain in custody until then.

The court was told that Mr Yawari’s case would also be transferred from Adelaide Magistrates Court to the Elizabeth jurisdiction, located in Adelaide’s outer north.

Judge Paul Cuthbertson said in 2016 that Mr Yawari was a “danger to the Australian community” and an “ongoing risk to women”.

Mr Yawari was jailed for three years and 11 months, with a non-parole period of two years and eight months.

He was then transferred to immigration detention where he remained until his release in November.

Of the 150 detainees freed since the High Court decision, at least nine have been arrested and charged with crimes.

Over the Christmas period, the Australian Federal Police arrested a 45-year-old Afghan man and a 38-year-old Iranian man for breaking their curfew conditions.

Child Sex Abuse Offenders Released into SA: Police

In early December, the police arrested a 33-year-old man in Dandenong, Victoria, for breaching his reporting requirements and allegedly contacting minors.

It’s understood the former detainee is a registered sex offender and pleaded guilty to obtaining girls for a prostitution syndicate in 2012.

Following the burst of alleged crime from former detainees, the federal government legislated new preventive detention measures in December giving law enforcement the power to lock up high-risk offenders.

The government has also established a Community Protection Board to provide advice on how to manage the former detainees.

The issue has roiled federal politics, with the Coalition attacking the government for what it sees as a flat-footed response to the crisis.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton called on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to sack Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles in December.

“The minister’s made catastrophic mistakes in his decision-making and unfortunately now that they’ve released 147 people in total, with a potential 340 (more), the likelihood of attacks, and given the cohort, the nature of these people, the high degree of the viciousness of some of the offending, the very high likelihood is that there will be more victims,” Mr Peter Dutton told Adelaide radio.

“It’s avoidable and it’s a tragedy.”

Ms O’Neil hit back at Mr Dutton, saying he had voted against a Bill that would have tightened controls on child sex abusers.

“A Bill that Labor put forward to criminalise pedophiles standing in front of schools, the Leader of the Opposition and his team voted against it, and you cannot hide from that,” she said in parliament on November 30.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the government had no choice but to release the non-citizens.

Read related topics:Immigration

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