Foreign Fighter Legislation
A Brisbane man deported from Germany who spent several months with Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria remains under investigation after being released without charge. Ashley Dyball, a 23-year-old former weightlifting enthusiast, returned to his family’s home in the Queensland capital yesterday after being questioned for several hours on arrival at Melbourne Airport late on Sunday night. Despite claims Australians who fight with the Kurds may avoid prosecution, it is understood Mr Dyball was released because police lacked the grounds on which to charge him under foreign-fighter legislation. Those convicted under the legislation face up to 25 years in jail.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton yesterday said that it was “difficult” to punish Mr Dyball because he came from a “very good family”.What a ridiculous statement. So did Brett Cowan, murderer and sex offender who was convicted of the murder of Daniel Morcombe. I personally knew his father. Coming from a “good family” is a matter that the judge might consider when sentencing a person if found guilty but it certainly shouldn’t be considered when deciding whether someone should be charged or not. Immigration Minister needs to have a chat with Attorney General
I did some research on the laws pertaining to this bloke and found to my surprise that the Crimes Act (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) 1978 was repealed in December 2014.
The content has been replaced with a myriad of clauses in Anti Terrorism legislation, so “going as a mercenary” is no longer as black and white as it was under the 1978 legislation.
We live in interesting times.