Reports murder accused have been resettled in Australia

Scott Morrison. Photo: AAP
Scott Morrison. Photo: AAP

SCOTT Morrison won’t confirm whether a pair of Rwandan men accused of murdering western tourists have been settled here, but says anyone who comes to live in Australia is subject to security checks.

Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani were part of a trio who faced trial in the US over their involvement in the murder of eight British, American and New Zealand tourists in Uganda in 1999, having confessed to the crimes, but the legal case fell apart and they have been in limbo since.

US media outlet Politico reported on Thursday that Australia had agreed to take the two men as part of the people swap deal struck to remove refugees from offshore immigration detention centres on Nauru and PNG’s Manus Island.

The ABC also reported immigration department sources confirmed the men had been settled in Australia in November.

But asked about the reports, the prime minister said he would never discuss matters of national security “in open forums”.

“Allegations, I know, have been made out there in the public forum,” Mr Morrison told the National Press Club in Canberra.

“I would simply say this – every single person that comes to Australia, under any such arrangements, are the subject of both character and security assessments by Australian security agencies and our immigration authorities.”

A government spokesperson told AAP that Australia had never taken anyone who had failed character or security screening under the refugee and humanitarian program.

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull struck the refugee deal with the previous US president, Barack Obama, and convinced incumbent Donald Trump to stick to it.

Under the agreement, the US will take up to 1250 confirmed refugees from the centres while Australia agreed to resettle Central American refugees from camps in Costa Rica.

About 500 refugees have been accepted by the US so far.