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The wanted: Australia’s approach to investigating alleged international crimes ‘not working’, Greens say

Australian Greens spokesperson David Shoebridge has critiqued the country's handling of international crime allegations as ineffective, following a Guardian/Four Corners report that Rwanda indicted two Australian residents for their alleged roles in the 1994 genocide.
Legal experts urge the creation of a specialist unit to prevent Australia from becoming a refuge for international crime perpetrators.

Senator Shoebridge highlighted Australia's multiculturalism but emphasized the need for rigorous prosecution systems for international crimes and global cooperation to prevent evasion of justice.

Despite the attorney general's refusal to comment on specific cases, they affirmed the government's dedication to addressing serious international crimes. However, past Labor party commitments to address legal shortcomings in prosecuting such crimes have been omitted from current policies.

Australia lacks a specialized investigative unit like those found in the UK, US, and Europe, according to legal voices. Rawan Arraf of the Australian Centre for International Justice expressed concern over Australia's inability to fulfill international obligations, criticizing the Australian Federal Police's (AFP) handling of complex investigations. In response, an AFP spokesperson defended their capacity to investigate.

The investigation in question disclosed Rwanda's attempt to extradite two men residing in Australia for their alleged involvement in the genocide. While one has rejected the claims, the other's family insists on his innocence and absence from the country. The report doesn't accuse the men but points to the need for further inquiry.

The legal process could be complicated by several factors, including Australia's delayed domestic genocide laws, the lack of an extradition treaty with Rwanda, possible reluctance to extradite to a country with human rights concerns, and Rwandan government conduct that has attracted criticism. Some Australian Rwandans believe the indictments may be politically motivated.

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