The Malta Independent 21 January 2020, Tuesday

Australian PM 'feared' for family’s safety after banning Alex Vella from returning to Australia

Monday, 9 December 2019, 09:46 Last update: about 2 months ago

Karl Azzopardi

In a recent interview with Sky News, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed that he had to take extreme safety measures after cancelling Rebels motorcycle club head Alex Vella’s visa back in 2014, when the Prime Minister still held the post of Immigration Minister.

On June 9 2014, Vella left Australia for a two week trip to Malta which quickly turned into a permanent stay after Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection applied for his exile on June 12th.

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This was done on the basis of unpaid taxes and the number of felonies that the Rebels Motorcycle Club were charged with; including violent assaults, drug trafficking and extortion.

It is for this reason that Morrison decided to take all the required security measures to protect his family after banning Vella, the club’s president, as he explains during his interview. He went on to say that “now thankfully nothing came out of that, but when you’re dealing with an outlaw motorcycle gang bosses, you don’t take chances.”

Such comments seem to have hit a nerve with those who believe in Vella’s innocence and support his return to Australia.

Members of the Facebook group ‘Let Alex Vella Return to Australia’, expressed their concerns on the way Morrison’s statement reflects on Vella and how the former is the one who is in the wrong. As one comment states, “so Scomo wasted taxpayers money for security he didn’t need because he cancelled the visa of a man that had done nothing wrong but be the president of a motor cycle club.”

For being the president of the Rebels, Vella paid for the crimes that its members were accused of, despite repeatedly claiming that he wasn’t involved in any of them.

During last year’s interview with MaltaToday, Vella commented on this injustice; “the Pope is the Pope. If the priests do something wrong, do they arrest the Pope for it?” He followed up by stating that just because one is the leader of a company, it does not mean that he should carry the guilt of what someone else had done.

Vella further explained that he has been voted as president of the Rebels to this day despite his absence from Australia because he always did the right thing and kept things in order.

When asked by MaltaToday on how he keeps such order he explained that the club has rules which the members had agreed upon and anyone who steps out of line has to step out of the club; “what you have done, it does not concern the club, it’s your deal, it’s not ours.”

He ended by saying that he is disappointed for being blamed for something which he wasn’t a part of and that “this is corruption from high up,” as his lawyers had indicated to him.

Vella is a firm believer that, regardless of how motorcycle clubs are stereotyped as being unlawful, “the criminal activity of motorcyclists is a percentage of what people do dressed in suits and ties. As you know today, most criminal activities has nothing to do with motorcyclists believe me. But the little they do, they make a big picture out of it to throw all the spotlight on us,” he had told MaltaToday.

He still finds himself bound in Malta but he hasn’t lost hope on what the future holds as he is sure of his innocence.

 

 

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