17 May 2019

Accused killers of NZ tourists secretly settled in Australia

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 17 May 2019

The family of a New Zealand woman who was one of eight tourists murdered while they were on a gorilla-watching trip in the Ugandan rainforest 20 years ago cannot believe two men implicated in the killings have been resettled in Australia.

New Zealanders Michelle Strathern and Rhonda Avis, and their guide, were killed in the attack. US media outlet Politico has reported the two men were brought to Australia in November.

It was part of a contentious refugee swap first negotiated by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Obama administration. Just what the US was getting from the deal was not revealed. The Rwandan pair had been held in US immigration detention after efforts to convict them failed.

Two New Zealanders, 27-year-old Rhonda Avis and 26-year-old Michelle Strathern, were among those killed. Ms Strathern's father, Peter, spoke to RNZ reporter Matthew Theunissen.

The US case against the two men was dropped in 2006 when a judge found the men's confession to the crimes were obtained after torture in a Rwandan detention centre.

Corin Dann speaks to Josh Gerstein, the Politico reporter who broke the story.