09 Aug '11, 6am

DTN Singapore: Australia urges quick hearing on M'sia refugee deal: SYDNEY: Australia called on Tuesday for a le...

SYDNEY: Australia called on Tuesday for a legal challenge to its refugee swap deal with Malaysia to be heard as soon as possible, warning that any delay would play into the hands of people smugglers. Canberra's plan to send up to 800 boat people to the Southeast Asian nation in exchange for 4,000 of its registered refugees hit a snag Monday when Australia's High Court froze the first transfer pending a legal hearing. Sought by a humanitarian lawyer representing some of the Malaysia-bound asylum seekers, the order has delayed their removal by at least two weeks so the full bench of the court can decide whether it is legal. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen vowed not to be deterred by the challenge and called for the August 22 hearing to be brought forward. "It is likely that we will call for an early hearing. This is important and urgent," Bowen told Sky News. "There will be...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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