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Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has revealed the reason she claims she was threatened with jail time from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Senator Lambie told Today she was told to keep quiet over a secret deal made with the Prime Minister in 2019 to free over 400 refugees from offshore detention centres.

She said she “had no other choice but to shut up” and the secret “had been weighing her down”.

Jacqui Lambie Nauru refugee deal
Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has revealed the reason she was threatened with jail time from Prime Minister Scott Morrison. (Today)

“I don’t think there was any need for threats,” Senator Lambie told Today.

“I spent 10 years in the army. It takes a lot to intimidate me. It was intimidating what was said, it was bullish and I stand by that.”

She also said if she broke her silence, anything that was mentioned in that meeting about trying to get refugees settled elsewhere would be off the table.

“So for the sake of humanity, I had no other choice but to shut up anyway, to make sure that job was done,” she said.

Senator Lambie said she was already aware of the legal implications of leaking any information from a national security briefing, but to be threatened with the consequences was unnecessary.

Jacqui Lambie Nauru refugee deal
She also said if she broke her silence, anything that was mentioned in that meeting about trying to get refugees settled elsewhere would be off the table. (Jason Oxenham/AP)

“I just didn’t like the way it was handled. I was sitting at the table that day, I felt that was more of a threat,” she said.

“I don’t believe it was very well communicated. I believe for me I felt it was quite intimidating the way he said it, the way it was put.

“There was no need to do that because I already knew, quite clearly, if anything was said that deal would be off and all those people would be sitting on Nauru.”

New Zealand is set to take in 150 refugees a year currently in Australia’s detention system, however advocacy groups are concerned some people will be left behind.

In a joint statement from Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews, and New Zealand’s Minister of Immigration, Kris Faafoi, the two governments agreed on the resettlement plan, which will last for three years.

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The Refugee Council of Australia chief executive officer Paul Power acknowledged this would change the lives of 450 refugees but said hundreds will still be stranded in Australia’s detention system.

Senator Lambie said now the information is out in the open, she doesn’t believe the threat against her in 2019 will be followed through with.

“They’ve already come out and announced it themselves, there is no need to carry through that threat,” she said.

“I believe everything else is out in the open. I do believe our deal with New Zealand will go through, not because I have any trust in the Prime Minister, certainly not the one of Australia, but I certainly have a great deal of trust in the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, to make sure that job is now completed.”

Source: 9News

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