Former Army Captain Jason Scanes with his Afghan interpreter Hassan.
Former Army Captain Jason Scanes with his Afghan interpreter Hassan.

Former M’boro soldier has win in interpreter fight

FORMER army captain Jason Scanes has had a win in his mission to bring the man who saved his life in Afghanistan to Australia.

Mr Scanes, who lives in Maryborough with his family, says he would not be alive today if not for his Afghan interpreter Hassan, who was by his side every day when he served in the war-torn country.

But in September the Federal Court upheld the decision of the Home Affairs Department to deny the interpreter a resettlement visa on character grounds, a decision Mr Scanes said could prove deadly for Hassan and his family.

But now an appeal against that decision has been successful.

The decision to deny Hassan a visa has now been quashed and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton will now have to reconsider his protection claim, this time taking into account the threat to the lives of Hassan's wife and child as a result of his service to Australia.

Mr Scanes (pictured right outside Peter Dutton's Brisbane office) said he was hopeful that this time Hassan would be successful in his application.

"I feel saddened that it has taken seven years to have an application for a protection visa assessed for someone who has served with Australian troops in Afghanistan," he said,

"The decision by the full court of the federal court yesterday acknowledged the real and increasing danger faced by interpreters and their families as a result of their service with Australian Forces.

"I never doubted Hassan's integrity nor seen any proof of any wrongdoing.

"I feel enlivened by the decision of the Federal court and remain optimistic that Hassan can have a fresh application with all relevant information assessed.

"I ask that the government gives Hassan's application the highest priority given the time that has lapsed since his original application in 2013 and consider Australia's moral obligation to these interpreters and the risks they and their families now face."