Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the alleged Rwandan killers of two Kiwis were resettled in Australia but stressed they posed no risk to security.
On Thursday, it was revealed two Rwandans accused of killing Kiwis Michelle Strathern and Rhonda Avis in Uganda in 1999 were resettled in Australia last year in a secret deal with the United States.
The deal was made at the same time as a publicly announced arrangement for the United States to take 1250 refugees held in Australia's detention centres and for Australia to take refugees from Costa Rica camps.
Morrison has now confirmed the men are in Australia but said they were screened by security agencies.
"That included checks relating to national security, criminality, war crimes, and crimes against humanity," he said, reports The Guardian.
"That resulted in an assessment that they did not represent a risk to security and they were cleared."
Six others, including two Americans, were also slain in the 1999 attack and three Rwandans who reportedly confessed to the murders were sent to the United States to face trial.
But as the men were ruled by an American judge to have been tortured during the Rwandan Civil War, the case against them fell apart. They were left in limbo, without legal status to stay in the US, but not wanting to go home, when the deal came about.
It's believed the third Rwandan remains in custody in the United States as he was involved in a violent altercation with an American jail guard in 2015.
Their transfer has shocked the families of the Kiwis, with Jean Strathern, Michelle's mother, telling Politico that she was blown away.
"It makes shivers run down your spine. They're only two, three hours away on a plane," she said.
Avis' mother, Pauline Jackson, said it was a shock and also expressed concern about them living so close. Rhonda's husband, Mark, said it was extremely surprising.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters' office refused to comment when approached by Newshub on Thursday.