Lawyers for the boss of Australia's biggest bikie
club will today launch a last-ditch legal bid to have him allowed
back into the country.
Club president Alex Vella was stripped of his residency visa by the
Abbott government last year because "the [Immigration] Minister
reasonably suspected that Mr Vella did not pass the character test
and was satisfied that the cancellation would be in the national
The decision was taken while the veteran bikie,
who held Australian residency for 47 years but not citizenship, was
on a visit to his birthplace of Malta.
He has been stranded there ever since. Mr Vella's
wife, children, grandchildren and elderly mother live in Sydney.
Mr Vella has been the national president of the
Rebels since 1973, presiding over a club that has grown to be the
biggest in the country with more than 2,000 members.
But police say the Rebels are one of the country's
most dangerous and violent outlaw motorcycle gangs.
"We've certainly charged people with fraud,
intimidation, extortion, kidnapping, attempted murder, murder," NSW
Police Gangs Squad leader Deb Wallace said in an interview in July.