The Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, has denied an allegation that Sydney businessman Karim Kisrwani told him of a donation to the Liberal Party by corporate criminal Dante Tan.
Labor has been demanding Mr Ruddock explain why Mr Tan’s visa was reinstated after he donated $10,000 to Mr Ruddock’s campaign.
Mr Kisrwani says he told Mr Ruddock in 2001 that Mr Tan had made a donation to Mr Ruddock’s re-election campaign.
But Mr Ruddock says the records of his local Liberal Party organisation show Mr Tan did not make a donation until four months after the function where Mr Kisrwani claims he told him about it.
“I received advice on Thursday night that the donation on behalf of Mr Tan was not made until four months later, January. So he either was very precipient in knowing that somebody was intending to make a donation and mentioned that, and I don’t think he did, or his recollection is faulty.”
Mr Ruddock’s comments came as fugitive Jim Foo appeared on fraud charges in a Singapore court after giving up his fight to stay in Australia.
Police say 63-year-old Mr Foo was arrested after being deported from Australia.
He disappeared from Singapore in 1994 after police began looking into allegations he cheated in property deals worth more than $A700,000.
Mr Foo spent nine years in Australia but was eventually deported for overstaying his visa.
Officials reportedly detained him after learning he had given a worthless set of stamps to Philip Ruddock as a gift.
He was scheduled to appear before the Federal Court next Monday, but withdrew the court action and asked to be returned to Singapore.