Afghan man who saved M'boro soldier has court appeal denied
AN AFGHAN interpreter who fought alongside a Maryborough soldier has had his appeal to come to Australia dismissed.
The Federal Court upheld the decision of the Home Affairs Department to deny the interpreter a resettlement visa in Ausatralia.
Decorated former army captain Jason Scanes had spent years fighting for the man he says saved his life while serving in Afghanistan, hoping to bring him and his young family to the safety of Australian shores.
Yesterday he described the court's decision as "hugely disappointing".
His interpreter, known by the pseudonym Hassan, was denied a protection visa on character grounds by the Department of Home Affairs, but Mr Scanes had hoped for a decision in his favour.
Mr Scanes said he feared for the safety of Hassan and his family, especially as the situation in Afghnistan grew more unstable.
"I can only imagine what Hassan is going through," he said.
"It was disappointing to get that finding from the court.
But the fight may not be over yet, with the lawyers representing Hassan now considering appealing the court's decision.
"The application was dismissed," solicitor Christian Hearn said in a statement.
"The legal team is closely considering the decision and an appeal is being actively considered."
Hassan's case was heard by the Federal Court in Sydney in March after was denied a protection visa despite having references from senior Australian Army officials.
Mr Scanes was among those who provided references for him.
Last year Mr Scanes stood outside the Brisbane office of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in an effort to secure a meeting about the future of the interpreter.
However that relationship has now soured after Mr Scanes ran for the seat of Wide Bay for the ALP earlier this year.
Mr Dutton and Mr Scanes became embroiled in a national security dispute over the issue during the Federal election when a spokesman from Mr Dutton's department accused the former soldier of wanting to bring somebody to the country who was a "potential threat and danger to his local community".
"The Minister will not intervene in cases where there is advice received from our intelligence agencies that is not in our national interest," he said.