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Aussie ex-crim dumped on Sweden

Paul O'Mahony · 2 Jan 2007, 12:05

Published: 02 Jan 2007 12:05 GMT+01:00

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Stefan Nystrom, 32, was born in Sweden in 1974 when his mother was here visiting family. After just 27 days in the country, however, Nystrom and his mother returned to Australia, where he has lived ever since.

The decision to use Nystrom's Swedish citizenship as a means by which to eject him from Australia has proved controversial.

Justice Emmett from the country's Federal Court berated the immigration minister for exploiting "an accident of history and an oversight on the part of his parents". The oversight in question was their failure to apply for Australian citizenship on their son's behalf.

Nystrom's various court appearances have resulted in a total of 127 convictions, including one charge of aggravated rape. In 2004 Australia's immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone, revoked Nystrom's visa, citing his poor character.

The Federal Court overturned her decision in April, saying among other things that the decision to deport "presumes that Australia can export its problems elsewhere."

But at at the beginning of November this decision was overturned by the country's highest court, which said that the government's original decision was valid.

The Australian Immigration Board claims that it received assurances from Swedish authorities that Nystrom would be met at Arlanda airport by community service representatives, The Age reports.

But according to his sister, Annette Turner, there was nobody there to meet him when his flight arrived on New Year's Eve.

"We were under the impression that he would be met by a number of different people to help him organise accommodation, food, money etc," she told the same newspaper.

"He is totally unequipped to cope with not only the weather, but also the turmoil, anguish and confusion that he finds himself in," Turner added.

Swedish Justice Department spokesman Rickard Wessman told The Local that there were "some phone calls" at the time of the ruling. But he is not aware of any reciprocal arrangement made with the Australian authorities to supervise Nystrom's transition into Swedish society.

As he has not been deported to Sweden to serve a prison sentence, "the government and Justice Department have no role to play," said Wessman.

"If he needs support he should go to the local council", he added.

Since deportees arriving in Sweden come under the jurisdiction of the local authorities at the place of arrival, the council in this case is the municipality of Sigtuna. But nobody The Local spoke to at the council was aware of the case, and there were no arrangements in place to meet Nystrom.

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"We help people if they turn to us," Katie Berglind from Sigtuna's social services department told The Local.

"If they have no food or money they can turn to us. But we have no involvement regarding deportations," she said.

Police at Arlanda Airport confirm that they were aware of Nystrom's arrival in the country but had no plans to meet him from the plane.

"We did some checks and found that he was a free man, which means that we do not get involved," shift commander Åke Henriksson told The Local.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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