The three men are former members of a Hutu rebel group that is an offshoot of groups largely responsible for 1994 genocide

The Australian government has reportedly accepted a third Rwandan man who had been charged with murder as part of a refugee swap deal with the United States.

In May it was revealed Australia had accepted two men as refugees for resettlement in November 2018, Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani, and they were living in Australia.

The men are former members of the Hutu rebel group Army for the Liberation of Rwanda, an offshoot of Rwandan armed forces and paramilitary groups largely responsible for the 1994 genocide.

The two, with a third, Francois Karake, had been brought to the US in 2003 to face trial for the murder of two US victims who were part of a tourist group of eight murdered while on a gorilla-watching trip in the Ugandan rainforests in 1999.

But a judge ruled the men had been tortured in Rwanda when their confessions were made, and the case was dropped. The men claimed they could not be returned to Rwanda because they would be persecuted. All three remained in detention in the US until two were brought to Australia.

Politico reported on Sunday that Karake, 55, had been released from detention in Miami last Tuesday and arrived in Australia on Thursday.

Guardian Australia had not confirmed the report at the time of publishing and had sought comment from the home affairs department.

Home affairs told Politico that it did not comment on individual cases but that all applicants undergo health, character and security screening.

The Politico report speculated that Karakes transfer may have taken longer than for the other two men because of an altercation with a guard at an immigration detention centre in 2015.

At the time news surfaced of the first two men being brought to Australia, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, distanced himself from the decision, stating it was made when Malcolm Turnbull was prime minister. However, Guardian Australia revealed the national security committee of cabinet, of which Morrison was a member at the time, was briefed about all aspects of the refugee swap deal in later 2016, including regarding the Rwandan men.

The home affairs department secretary, Michael Pezzullo, told a parliamentary committee in August that anyone who goes through the refugee swap is fully assessed.

All persons who gain, either by humanitarian or other means, access to Australia for permanent residency are subject to thorough screening and, certainly, screening that takes a much longer period and more data in question than can be garnered in 72 hours, he said.

If you have more time and the full armoury of the Migration Act, the Asio Act and all the relevant other statutes that are available to us, and you can thoroughly establish circumstances, risks and whether allegations have been proven or not.

It comes as the government is pressuring a crossbench senator, Jacqui Lambie, to support repealing the medevac legislation that allows asylum seekers held on Manus Island and Nauru to be transferred Australia for medical treatment.

In making its case, the government has highlighted the transfer of several people it believed could pose a danger to the Australian community, even though people brought to Australia for medical treatment remain in some form of detention.

The latest report from the medical panel that has review of the ministers decision shows that 57 medevac cases were considered between July and September 2019. The independent panel made 12 recommendations to approve a transfer, and upheld Duttons decision to refuse the transfer of 45 people.

The legislation is due to be voted on in the Senate in the next sitting fortnight.



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