A jailed New Zealand-born bikie who won his
Australian visa back in court only to lose it again within hours is mounting
a legal challenge which his lawyers say could be momentous for all NZ
Rebels gang leader and convicted criminal AJ Graham had his residence visa
reinstated yesterday by a federal judge.
Justice Richard Tracey said Immigration
Minister Peter Dutton's decision to cancel Graham's visa was invalid and
ordered the Federal Government to pay his costs.
However, Australian Immigration Minister
Peter Dutton promptly cancelled the visa again on "bad character" grounds.
Lawyer Michael Pena-Rees, who heads
Graham's legal team, said he had hoped his client would be out of Goulburn
Prison, near Canberra, within an hour.
He said they were now looking to mount a
constitutional challenge in the High Court within weeks with a view to
stopping Mr Dutton's ability to effectively over-rule the courts.
"What one would hope for is that it would
allow natural justice to be applied to the legislation and to force the
Minister in any of these types of cancellations and revocations to apply
Australia toughened its immigration rules
in late 2014, changing the threshold for the cancellation of visas or
revocation of permanent residency. Almost 200 New Zealand citizens have
since been detained.
Mr Pena-Rees said if Graham's legal
challenge succeeded it would be be momentous for other New Zealand detainees
as it could then be applied to them.
"They could seek natural justice, seek a
review through the judicial system and that decision would be final," he