AAT Case: Consideration of “Non-Political Crime”

.. (18 February 2019) concerns whether there are serious reasons for considering that the Applicant committed a serious non-political crime in Malaysia before entering Australia. If so, then according to section 36 of the Migration Act, complementary protection obligations under the Act are not owed in relation to the Applicant.


What Happened to the Applicant?


The Applicant was convicted for murder in Malaysia. The Applicant appealed and an intermediate court in Malaysia set aside the trial judge’s verdict. At that moment, the Applicant was at liberty and in due course came to Australia on a tourist visa.


After the Applicant arrived in Australia, the prosecutor appealed from the intermediate court’s decision to Malaysia’s final court of appeal, the Federal Court of Malaysia. The Federal Court allowed the appeal from the intermediate court, and reinstated the orders made by the trial judge. Therefore, the conviction for murder was upheld.


What Happened at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal?


The Applicant gave evidence before the Tribunal and maintained his innocence on the matters for which he was convicted in Malaysia. The Tribunal found that the question as to whether there are serious grounds to consider that the Applicant committed a serious crime is answered by a perusal of the judgments of the Malaysian courts.


The Applicant gave evidence before the Tribunal that he was ordered to kill the victim because the victim was a spy. However, it was found that the evidence called before the Tribunal failed to satisfy the Tribunal of the contrary. By merely hearing the evidence of the Applicant, without more, does not enable the Tribunal to be satisfied that any miscarriage of justice took place in relation to the Applicant’s conviction in Malaysia. The Tribunal found that none of the findings made by the courts in Malaysia suggested that the crime in question was a political one. The Applicant’s political asylum bid was therefore rejected by the Tribunal.


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