John Falzon is currently living in a detention centre on Christmas Island
A 61-year-old Maltese man who has been living in Australia since he immigrated there with his parents back in 1956 is set to be deported back to his home country as punishment for trafficking marijuana.
John Falzon, who never gained Australian citizenship, had his visa revoked on character grounds after serving eight years in prison for trafficking thousands of cannabis plants, including 3.6kg of weed to an undercover policeman. It was his second jail stint for trafficking marijuana, having spent years in prison in the 1990s.
Falzon has been in immigration detention on Christmas Island since his release from jail, fighting through the courts to get his visa back. However, an Appeals Court yesterday dismissed his request, meaning Falzon is set to be deported back to Malta.
Falzon’s family has run a social media campaign, arguing deportation would be unbearably cruel for a man who has a large family in Australia and knows no one in Malta.
At one point his daughter Kim Falzon started a Change.org petition against her father’s deportation from Australia.
“Please help save my dad from deportation,” Kim Falzon posted two years ago. “John made some bad decisions, & the law convicted him & he is now getting towards the end of his payment to society for his wrong doing. That should be that but it is not. There are moves afoot to deport him to Malta … He knows no one there, his whole life and family is in Australia … this cannot be allowed to happen.”
Falzon’s case bears similarities to that of former Rebels biker boss Alex Vella, whose Australian visa was revoked during what was supposed to be a quick visit to Malta. Vella has been living in Malta ever since.